“Rock” Show A Real Bash – Campbell River, 1957

Almost 1000 teenagers and their parents filled the community hall Saturday night for the rock ‘n’ roll show put on by CJOR entertainer Red Robinson. Here’s Red with two of his admirers, Barbara Woodcock and Carol Hargreaves, snapped by Archie Waldref.


“Well, There’s Good Rocking Tonight” was the attitude in the air last Friday as approximately 600 rock and rollers shook the community hall to the music provided by Red Robinson and his rock and roll show.

The turnout for Red’s bash, a CRRA promotion, was almost 1000, as parents and teenagers showed up in full force to make the party a one hundred percent success. The hall bleachers overflowed with the aforementioned parents and other interested adults who had come to see just what this “bug – rock and roll” was actually like. The fllow was a swimnging mass of pf humanity rocking in syncopated motion as the turntables revolved with today’s top tunes. There was no doubt that this “session” was “the mostest, to say the leastest, about the bestest” or in plain language, the biggest entertainment event ever staged for the teenagers of Campbell River.

Greatest attraction, of course, was Mr. Music, that rocking redhead, Red Robinson. Red flew in from Vancouver, and almost did not make it here. On his way to the plane from the radio station, he almost missed the plane when Ye Olde Marpole Bridge, true to its reputation, stood gaping open and delaying traffic. He made it out to the airport with scant seconds to spare.

At Comox, the Comox and Courtenay “swinging cats and gators” gave him a royal welcome. Much to their disappointment, Bruce Saunders, a man with Campbell River’s interests at heart, whisked him on up Island. Red arrived at the rock and roll at 9 p.m. with a marked phenomenal punctuality seldom seen. The fans kept him busy most of the night signing autographs. He was almost a victim of the world’s worst plague, commonly known as “writer’s cramp”, as pictures, arms, white jeans, and even foreheads of his more ardent admirers were put before him for his signature. About 11:30 p.m. he was presented with a 15-lb steelhead, a symbol of Campbell River’s appreciation of his appearance.

During the night, Red danced with the local talent and gave out pictures of Tommy Sands and Fats Domino. After the presentation of the trout, Red announced the fabulous fact, namely, there’s going to be rock and roll once a month, with him attending if at all possible. (That’s something we all hope will be possible.)

The hall was appropriately decorated in the Theme For Teens colour of red and white. On the wall opposite the main entrance large red letters spelled out “Soda Shop Rock” and the stage bore a large “Welcome Red” ensign. A refreshment stand was open, and business flourished. Outside, the Northern Lights rose to the occasion with a gala display of reds, greens, blues and yellows. Sounds outside the hall indicated it contained a huge dynamo of energy, a true sign of teenagers enjoying themselves as the hall rocked, even the rafters rolled.

Most popular records during the night were Party Doll, Honky Tonk Man, 40 Cups Of Coffee, I’m Walking, Shake Rattle and Roll, Rambunctious, and the greatest ever, Rock Around The Clock.

We all had a good time, and we sure hope Red can come for the next one. (courtesy Campbell River Courier)