Robbie Lane, Canadian music pioneer, was honoured at his place a work, on stage, where he has spent the majority of his adult life. Rarely will you see an entertainer more at home, under the lights and performing for the crowd than Robbie Lane.
Robbie received the Cashbox Canada Legacy Award of Merit on Sunday October 18, 2015 from none other than Canadian legend and old friend Bobby Curtola. “What an honour it was for me to be the one to give this award to my old friend Robbie Lane,” said Curtola after the event. “He truly is a pioneer and the Canadian music industry owes a lot to guys like Robbie. And he’s still doing it!”
Robbie Lane’s career spans six decades, 1960’s through to 2015 and a brief history of how he got here is awe inspiring.
Robbie was leader of one of Toronto's most popular bands Robbie Lane & The Disciples who received their big break in December 1963 when Ronnie Hawkins hired them as he prepared for the departure of the existing Hawks who were taking the leap to become The Band. Hawkins had the Disciples playing upstairs at the Hawk’s Nest while the Hawks themselves played downstairs at the Le Coq d'Or with Hawkins himself running sets between the two floors. When Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko and the rest of the boys did strike out on their own Robbie Lane And The Disciples became The Hawks but maintained their own identity for recording purposes .
Their first Disciples recording "Fannie Mae" was on Hawkins' Hawk Records label and was produced by Scott 'Professor Piano' Cushnie. The flipside, "She's The One", was a Dominic Troiano tune. The follow-up single in 1964 was "Ain't Love A Funny Thing" and was produced by Hawkins’ old guitar Fred Carter who Robbie Robertson replaced on lead guitar. Robbie Lane and the Disciples would leave Hawkins in 1965 and ended up with Robbie hosting the CTV production “ It’s Happening.” By the end of 60's, the kind of music produced by Robbie Lane and The Disciples was not as in fashion as it once was and the band broke up.
Robbie, by himself, continued on with the 'It's Happening' tv show and continued as a solo artist. He recorded a solo album in Nashville in 1968 but the material never materialized until the 'Backtrax - Best Of Robbie Lane & The Disciples' package by Pacemaker Records in 1996. His true solo career hit its stride in 1974 with the single "M'Lady" which was written by Brian Allen of the group Toronto. His next record was the Joey Miller song "Missing You" featuring full orchestration and vocal accompaniment by Dianne Brooks and Rhonda Silver. In the 1980's the original version of Robbie Lane And The Disciples reunited and in the 90's.
These days Robbie Lane has a very successful career in radio on AM 740 in Toronto as a radio host as well as continuing to perform with his incredible 8 piece band The Discip
Congratulations Robbie Lane on a well deserved Award.