Performing Thursday, January 31, 2019
Robin Luke is best remembered for his one big hit, “Susie Darlin’” in 1958, a song that embodied the most gently innocent side of rock ‘n roll. His career lasted into the early ‘60s and encompassed dozens of songs. He was one of the most popular of the romantic rockers of the late 1950s, a balladeer in the mold of Ricky Nelson or the Everly Brothers. Luke was a member of rock ‘n roll’s second wave, young enough to have been a fan before he dreamed of a recording career of his own.
In early 1958, Luke was already a headliner in Hawaii, closing shows on bills with the likes of the Everly Brothers and Sam Cooke, but the release of “Susie Darlin’” resulted in his doing a quick tour of the United States and appearing on American Bandstand. He appeared on more national television shows and also became friends with a number of music stars including Buddy Holly and Ricky Nelson.
Luke remained popular on the concert stage, but it wasn’t his intention to continue as a singer. After graduating from Pepperdine University, he pursued a graduate degree in business administration that ultimately brought him into the academic world.