The Pegasus Awards

Dr. J. Robinson HoF

 

Pegasus Awards

Award Year Category Song
2000 Best End of the World Song Out of a Clear Blue Sky
1992 Best Writer/Composer  

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category Song
2011 Best Classic Filk Song

Nessie Come Up

2008 Best Classic Filk Song

Nessie Come Up

2005 Best Classic Filk Song

Nessie Come Up

2004 Best Classic Filk Song

Nessie Come Up

2001 Best Creature Song Nessie Come Up
1999 Best Fool Song Drivel
1998 Best Myth Song Nessie Come Up
1997 Best Science Song Drivel
1997 Best Science Song Backbone
1996 Best Eerie Song Song of the Ripper
1993 Best Humorous Song Graviportal Polka
1993 Best Performer  
1992 Best Genre Crossover Graviportal Polka
1992 Best Performer  
1989 Best Techie Song Drivel

 

"Dr. J" Robinson was born smack-dab in the middle of Maine in 1948, to a family that loved and appreciated all kinds of music. His grandmother taught him to play piano (they didn't call it "keyboard" back then) by ear when he was five. His folks were part of a barbershop quartet, so he grew up being sung to sleep to the (mostly) soothing sounds of 4-part harmony.

Later he began singing along with the group. "My Dad was by far the loudest, and he was the tenor, so of course I sang along with him; it was years before I figured out the actual melody to those songs!", he says. When he was old enough to join the church choir and double quartet, he sang -- you guessed it -- tenor. He also learned to play flute and piccolo in Junior High because he wanted to be in the marching band, but desired an instrument small enough to put up his sleeve when it was really cold on the football field.

James started writing music when he was ten, but was frustrated by not being able to sing and play flute at the same time, so he taught himself guitar. By the end of high school he was writing and singing about chemistry and biology (A Battle With the Elements and Backbone), and this writing continued during undergrad and grad school. After receiving his doctorate in Biology at UCLA in 1976 he got a part-time teaching and curatorial job at UC Berkeley and gave occasional benefit performances for the UCB Museum of Paleontology. Eventually (perhaps inevitably) James was discovered and embraced by the filk community in 1986.

There followed an incredibly productive 15 years of writing, performing, arranging, and playing back-up bass, percussion and keyboard, primarily with his partner and best friend, Cynthia McQuillin. The results of those years can be found on any dealer's table, and have earned James the informal title of "the Tom Lehrer of science". He mostly retired from writing and performing in 1998, and turned his copious energies to organizing and running Consonance. James currently lives in Oakland, CA with one gray cat and lots of happy houseplants. He has been self-employed as a massage therapist and bodyworker for 18 years.

James currently lives in Richmond, CA where he gardens and collects bones as passionately as he used to sing and write. He has been a therapeutic bodyworker for 25 years, with an office in Berkeley and a practice full of "well-adjusted" fannish clients.

 

 
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