What do Frankie Valli, The Beach Boys, and Concordia Publishing House’s Vacation Bible School programs have in common? It may not be apparent at first, but there is a connection. The answer: Their music has all been produced by acclaimed musician and producer Robby Robinson.
The name may not be familiar, but his work has been well known for decades. Robinson, who has been Frankie Valli’s music producer for over 30 years, has worked with legendary stars such as Liza Minnelli, Tom Jones, The Turtles, Eddie Harris, and Albert King. He’s conducted top symphony orchestras and composed movie scores. He’s even composed a rock opera.
And each year for the last 18 years, he’s also produced CPH’s Vacation Bible School music.
“I’ve been blessed to work with some of the biggest names in the music business, but I have to say that I get the most joy from playing music in church and leading God’s people in worship,” says Robinson.
This partnership started in 1995 when Robinson was asked to be the music director for the LCMS National Youth Gathering. Through relationships begun at that event, Robinson was asked to arrange and produce the 1998 VBS CD for CPH—and he’s been doing it every year since.
Robinson says that, on a musical level, VBS music allows him to be creative in a very broad array of musical styles. Plus, CPH’s VBS team loves that his long and impressive background in the music business brings a rich variety to the music.
“We might touch on classical, pop, rock, jazz, soul, R&B, blues, and even ethnic idioms in VBS music,” explains Robinson. “Plus, I get to incorporate a lot of fun and interesting ‘dialects.’ It keeps me young!”
As with all of his work, Robby makes sure to pull out all the stops when producing for VBS. Without even realizing it, VBS customers have been listening to music written, produced and performed by some very influential musicians.
“God has allowed me to develop musical relationships with some of the world’s great musicians of all persuasions. I’m fortunate to be able to call upon these friends to record for me,” says Robinson. “For example, a singer might sing at the Oscars, then sing for me on a VBS song, or a guitar player play on ‘American Idol,’ then play on a VBS track.”
Robinson continues, “God has been so good to me. I get to do something I love—music—24/7. I am so thankful to use it for His kingdom.”
Concordia is extremely proud to work with such a renowned artist with a strong Christian faith, especially on something as important as VBS music.
“We put a lot of time and resources into our music because we know how important it is to engaging the little ones,” says Corinne Lattimer, VBS marketing manager. “The Bible stories and lessons are extremely essential to VBS, but the music is what children will be singing and dancing to for weeks and months to come. It helps them take the Gospel home.”
To learn more about Robby and the acts he has worked with, visit robbyrobinsonmusic.com. To hear samples of his VBS work for 2014, Gangway to Galilee, visit cph.org/vbs2014 and click on the Site Rotation tab.