One of the oldest jokes about Nashville is that to find a country & western songwriter, all one has to do is shout "Waiter!" If the world was a discography, all one would have to do to find a musician is shout "Jim Robinson!" At least, that's the way it seems sometime. A Nashville songwriter named Jim Robinson could put together an entire studio band made up of players with the same name as him, if such a project appealed to him. He has been confused with the New Orleans jazz trombonist, who could certainly add spice to some of the watery albums that songs co-written by Nashville's Jim Robinson have appeared on. Likewise for blues pianist James "The Bat" Robinson, although either man's skin color might have prevented them from working in Nashville studios.
The efforts of songwriter Robinson, always in conjunction with co-writers, is a presence on country releases from the '90s onward. Co-writers have always been a part of the songwriting art, but seem to be particularly crucial in the modern day country music mecca, where the expression "everyone has a co-writer" was coined. One example would be an overweight recording engineer who began co-writing with his weight therapist. Singer Chalee Tennison is one of several recording artists who have co-written with Robinson, the results appearing on the albums Chalee Tennison and This Woman's Heart. On the latter album the Tennison/Robinson team cranked out the title tune, a good example of Robinson's focus on expressions that are common enough to be peeled off the bottom of a shoe. "Someone Else's Turn to Cry" was another one of his collaborations with Tennison, while the Byrd/Robinson team have come up with the rich-loaded "Big Money," the rowdy "Kickin' It Up," the arrogant "What I Do the Best," the insincere "Mending Fences," not to mention the "The Night Is Young and You're So Beautiful"; collectively representing enough clichés to warrant a separate dictionary entry under that word. They also wrote a clumsy tune called "I Can't Dance," no relation to the hilarious Tom T. Hall number of the same name. It took the additional mind involved in theByrd/Meissner/Robinson team to remind listeners that "A Little Bit of Love Is a Dangerous Thing." But they "Ain't Got Nothin' on Us" when it comes to the songwriting team of Mobley/Robinson, who came up with "Me Too," a title that has been used by some 18 different songwriters. "Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch" is an offering in the Western swing mode by the Buchanan/Robinson team, recorded by Texas legends Asleep at the Wheel. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi