Bill Robinson

Bill Robinson

July 24th, 1949 July 14th, 2020

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Obituary for Bill Robinson

Billie Gene Robinson (Bill) born, July 24, 1949 in Miami, Florida. The fifth child of Andy and Bernice Robinson - he attended the Houghton School, now The Martin Luther King Elementary School and Rindge Tech both in Cambridge Massachusetts. He was a great artist who loved math and science and wanted to be an architect. Bill went on to further his education in drafting school in Rochester, New York. He worked for many years for both the state and local government, in a variety of jobs.

As a child Bill joined the drum and bugle corps which started a lifelong love of music. He realized that music was his first passion and pursued a musical career as a producer, writer and lyricist. As a musician he mastered many instruments including the trumpet and piccolo but primarily played the flute, and tenor saxophone. He started out playing in back up bands employed by Epic records and while doing so appeared on shows with such performers as BB. King, The Temptations and Otis Redding.

As Bill pursued his love in the music industry he had various opportunities and travelled to Dubai, Jamaica and throughout the US including New York ( Americana on Broadway, Texas (The National Recording Convention) and Florida playing and opening for a variety of jazz and contemporary groups and at various clubs, festivals and hotels. He was a musician with international range and experience, having the harmonic reach of the best jazz players, combined with the simplicity and urgency of the great funk players.

Bill also played for various local, street, and charitable venues. In Boston he’s been heard at the House of Blues Brunches, Ryles and the Park Plaza Hotel. His name and face were well known in the Cambridge and Boston surrounding area and many would stop to listen when he played. He was also the band director for local area groups and a member of the ELKS Lodge in Cambridge. He enjoyed travelling with his own band and playing for others. Bill produced many musical scores and was a great all around musician. He believed in hard work with endurance. His favorite words were “Set a goal and practice, practice, practice without short cuts.” Bill believed that music can bring joy and peace to all of us.

Later in life Bill was also a producer of a TV show at Cambridge Community Television and received an award for producer of the year. He and his friend and Co-Host Shy did many shows and performed comedy skits. Bill played a variety of instruments during his show with soothing music and gave free music lessons. He had many guests who focused on community issues, problem solving and making people laugh.

Bill will be dearly missed by a multitude of family and friends. He had a sweet way about him and family held a huge place in his heart. He continued the tradition of his parent’s Andy and Bernice Robinson Sr., where family was always of the utmost importance. He was instrumental in putting together family events and celebrations. He always kept in touch by calling or stopping in for a visit. Bill had a way of connecting with you. He had a positive impact on many people. He was always smiling & laughing, and had a kind word, joke, some pleasant conversation, or a story to tell. He was all about keeping family connected and loved everyone dearly! He was someone you could easily open up and talk to. He was a great friend who was there for you no matter what and made you feel special, valued, and loved.

Bill was also a member of St. Paul AME Church in Cambridge. In his spirit of gathering, a family prayer line was organized in his honor and once again he has played a major role in family gathering together. The prayer line will continue in his honor. Bill is preceded in death by his parents Andy and Bernice Robinson Sr., siblings Andy Robinson Jr., Charles Robinson, Jacky Robinson, and Aundrie Robinson. Bill is survived by children Kyra and Andy (their late mother Lila) and his sister Rose Ann, brother Tyrone (Renee), sister Patricia (Newmon), sister in law Carolyn, Aunt Ann and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and other family and friends. Bill will be truly missed by all. Bill we love you and your spirit lives on.

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Billy we will miss your kind greetings when we would meet. You always offered a caring hug, an engaging conversation and genuine concern. Though your music will no longer fill the air, of Central Square, we take comfort in knowing that you're now playing in God's heavenly choir.
Maybe if we listen closely we will hear a melody and know it's you. And we will hear God's applause and know it's for you
Rest in Peace Billy.
Joyce and Margie Smith
Comment | Posted at 11:27pm via Condolence

Robert W Murrell Jr

I am truly saddened by the news of Billie's passing. His soulful spirit and musical positivity will be sorely missed. I've known him for years as a neighbor and as a friend.
Comment | Posted at 05:14pm via Condolence


As a first cousin I have a life time of memories play on and don’t forget to save a seat for me at that great concert!
Comment | Posted at 09:29pm via Condolence

David Andrus

I remember so many times walking down mass ave in central square and hearing the uplifting music of Bill's magic flute and how that music created a special space that we all walked through, a music that reflected his kindness and special spirit.
-David Andrus
Comment | Posted at 01:25pm via Condolence

Sharrhan Williamson

To Bill's friends and loving family --
We just heard the sad news today. My heart goes out to you, Rose, and his brothers. We will all remember Bill as the quintessential 'music man.' He had a kind heart and a soul filled with music; some of my best memories as a musician were of playing with Bill and Rose at the House of Blues.
PLAY ON, Bill! -- you are free now.
Comment | Posted at 07:56pm via Condolence

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