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Robin Box


circa Summer 1970

Robin Box 
Born 19 June 1944

Bands:
Five's Company (c. 1964)
Paul Jones (late 1960s)
Peter & Gordon (late 1960s)
Wainwright's Gentlemen (Jan 1968 - Feb 1968)
Rupert's Spoon (March 1968 - mid-1968)
The Flower Pot Men (Sept 1968 - Oct 1969)
White Plains (Oct 1969 - late 1974, 1978)
Crucible (1971)
Zenith (late 1974 - 1975)
Uncle Tone & His Magic Sax (1976)
Punchline (1980)
Robin Box (Solo) (1982)
Leonardo: The Musical (1983)
Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers (1988-2002)
White Plains (reformed) (2004-2006)

Five's Company (c. 1964)
Five's Company was a young local band from the Harrow County area (not to be confused with the Chelsea-based band of the same name, who recorded with the Pye label in 1966). It's not known exactly when the band was formed, but Robin Box had already been a member by the time drummer Roger Hills (who was about 16 at the time) and his former The Aliens bandmate, bassist Tim LeBlond, joined the band in 1964.

Members:
Unknown - vocals
Robin Box - guitar
Tim LeBlond - bass
Roger Hills - drums

Thanks to Mick Boggis for providing info.


Paul Jones (late 1960s)
In July of 1966, vocalist Paul Jones left '60s hit-makers Manfred Mann to venture out on a solo career. He had a few Top 40 UK hits between 1966 and 1967: "High Time" (1966), "I've Been A Bad, Bad Boy" (1967) and "Thinkin' Ain't For Me" (1967). He then turned to acting and starred alongside Mod Icon, model Jean Shrimpton in the 1967 film Privilege, with Jones playing the role of a discontented pop star. In the liner notes of the 1993 CD release "My Baby Loves Lovin'" by White Plains, writer John Tracy refers to Robin Box as having spent time in Paul Jones' backing band (along with Roger Hills). It's not known what year Robin and Roger toured with Paul, but one would assume sometime between July 1966 and January 1968.

Paul Jones LP cover, 1966


Peter & Gordon (late 1960s)
Peter &  Gordon (aka Peter Asher and Gordon Waller) were a British pop duo whose biggest chart success was their 1964 Lennon-McCartney penned hit "A World Without Love". Robin Box and Roger Hills' stint with Peter & Gordon is referenced in the liner notes of Deram's 1993 CD release "My Baby Loves Lovin'" by White Plains. It's not known what year or for how long they toured with Peter & Gordon. Bristol band, The Kytes, served as their backing band from early 1964 to early 1966. That leaves a window from early 1966 to January of 1968, which is the point at which Robin Box joined the band Wainwright's Gentlemen.

Peter & Gordon 45 picture sleeve, USA, 1966


Wainwright's Gentlemen (January 1968 to February 1968)
Wainwright's Gentlemen were a soul group who formed out of West London band, Unit 4, in late 1963. By early 1964, they had secured a residency at the Hayes Beat Club in Middlesex and some coffee bars in London's West End. Future Deep Purple singer, Ian Gillan, replaced Chris Wright on vocals later that year, and was joined by female vocalist Ann Cully. Then in early 1965, future Sweet drummer, Mick Tucker, joined their ranks. The band continued on through 1965, losing vocalist Ian Gillan along the way. In late September, both saxophonist Tony Hall (future White Plains) and vocalist Brian Connolly (future Sweet) were brought on board. Ann Cully left in mid-1966 and the remaining members recorded two demo tracks in early 1967. Frank Torpey (future The Sweetshop) replaced Gordon Fairminer on lead guitar that October. After a gig on 20th January 1968, Frank Torpey was fired from the band and was soon replaced by bassist Jan Frewer's friend, Robin Box. According to Frank Torpey (thesweetweb.com), this didn't sit well with Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker and within two weeks they had left the band to form The Sweetshop with Torpey and Steve Priest from local band, The Army. However, in Steve Priest's autobiography, Are You Ready, Steve?, the reason cited was Mick's impending firing from the band. Brian and Mick had approached Steve after a shared gig at Ealing Townhall, where they relayed to him that there was unrest within the band with Mick Tucker about to be thrown out. Brian Connolly, being a good friend of Mick's, decided he would leave with him. Steve later received a phone call from Brian asking him to join their new band, which would be known as The Sweetshop, later shortened to The Sweet. Future White Plains drummer, Roger Hills, was recruited to replace Mick Tucker. By the end of February 1968, Wainwright's Gentlemen was no more and the remaining members toured Germany for three months under the name Rupert's Spoon.

Members (January - February 1968):
Brian Connolly - vocals (until early Feb)
Frank Torpey - guitar (until 20th of Jan)
Robin Box - guitar (from late Jan)
Jan Frewer - bass
Tony Hall - tenor sax
Mick Tucker - drums (until early Feb)
Roger Hills - drums (from early Feb)

For a more detailed history of Wainwright's Gentlemen see thestrangebrew.co.uk

circa January 1968
L to R: Tony Hall, Robin Box, Mick Tucker, Jan Frewer and Brian Connolly
Pic from The Sweet: An Illustrated Biography by Brad Jones **

** Pic is labeled in the book as c. 1967. However, with Robin in the band with Mick & Brian, this would have to be within a two week period between the end of January and beginning of February, 1968.



Rupert's Spoon (March 1968 to mid-1968)
After Mick Tucker and Brian Connolly left Wainwright's Gentlemen to form The Sweetshop, remaining members Jan Frewer, Tony Hall and Robin Box recruited Roger Hills and sauntered on playing at least one gig towards the end of February 1968. By March, Wainwright's Gentlemen were dissolved and the remaining members formed Rupert's Spoon. This band toured Germany for three months and in September of 1968 they were invited to join The Flower Pot Men backing band (sans Frewer), after the exit of drummer Carlo Little and guitarist Mick Stewart.

Members:
Robin Box - guitar
Tony Hall - sax
Jan Frewer - bass
Roger Hills - drums



The Flower Pot Men (September 1968 to October 1969)
The Flower Pot Men started out as a studio project created by John Carter and Ken Lewis (formerly of The Ivy League). Their best known hit, "Let's Go To San Francisco", peaked at number 4 on the UK charts in August of 1967. In September of 1968, Robin Box was invited to join the backing band (aka Sundial), along with two of his Rupert's Spoon bandmates, Tony Hall and Roger Hills. Robin and Roger would remain with the band through their metamorphosis into White Plains. Sax player Tony Hall, however, would leave in early October to join Simon K & The Meantimers, with sax duties being taken over by Ricky Wolff. In January 1969, Ricky Wolff took over for Neil Landon as a main vocalist, who had departed for the band Fat Mattress. The band, who was now under the production team of Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, released one last single on 28 March 1969, "In A Moment Of Madness". They continued to tour and in late October they went into the studio to record what would become White Plains' first and biggest hit, "My Baby Loves Lovin'".

Members (Sept 1968 to October 1969)
Tony Burrows - vocals
Robin Shaw - vocals, bass*
Ricky Wolff - vocals (from Jan 1969 to Oct 1969) and sax, flute, keyboards (from early Oct 1968 to Oct 1969)
Pete Nelson - vocals, piano*
Neil Landon - vocals (up to Jan 1969)
Robin Box - guitar
Gordon Haskell - bass (up to mid-October 1968)
Tony Hall - sax (up to early October 1968)
Roger Hills - drums

* Gordon originally joined from May to July 1968, with Tex Makins returning to take his place from July to August. He then returned in September, but left again in mid-October to join Cupid's Inspiration [per NME article, 19 Oct 1968]. It's believed that Robin Shaw then took over on bass. By early 1969, the main core of what would become White Plains was established, with three of the main vocalists taking over bass, piano, and rhythm guitar from their former backing band.

From Spick Magazine, April 1968

The Flower Pot Men, c. March 1969
L to R: Tony Burrows, Ricky Wolff, Robin Shaw and Pete Nelson



White Plains (October 1969 to late 1974, 1978)
See full biography HERE

In early 1969, Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook took over as Producers of the Flower Pot Men from John Carter and Ken Lewis. On 28 March 1969, one last single "In A Moment Of Madness" was released, but the track failed to chart. Early that Summer, after what he describes as a "particularly harrowing" tour of Israel and Hungary, Tony Burrows made the decision to leave the group. It's not known exactly when Tony stopped gigging with the group, but they continued to play live shows throughout the rest of the year. The Producers sought to give a hit single one last shot and White Plains were regrouped that October to record four new tracks with Ricky Wolff on lead vocals: "Today I Killed A Man I Didn't Know", "You've Got Your Troubles", "Show Me Your Hand", and "My Baby Loves Lovin'". The group played at least one gig after these recordings that November (Middlesbrough Showboat on 21st November 1969). By the end of the year, the band had dissolved and the recordings were shelved. Not long after, Decca A&R man, Dick Rowe, decided he wanted to release these recordings under a new name and chose White Plains after the town in New York. Their first single was "My Baby Loves Lovin'", purposely released after the holidays on 2 January 1970. Due to Ricky Wolff being unavailable during the early promo period, Roger Greenaway took over on lead vocals for all promotional appearances. Upon Ricky's return in early Spring, Roger resumed his main position as co-producer. Over the next four years, two albums, and thirteen singles were released. After several lineup changes and dwindling chart success, the band called it quits in 1974. In 1975, the remaining members of the band released two singles under the name Zenith. Then in 1976, the name was loaned out to a new lineup and the single "Summer Nights" was released. White Plains was revived once again in 1978 by original members Pete Nelson and Robin Box and two last singles were released on PVK Records. Robin Box and Pete Nelson were the only two continuous members of the band from inception to end.

Members (October 1969 to late 1974, 1978):
Pete Nelson - vocals, rhythm guitar, piano (1969-1974, 1978)
Ricky Wolff - vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, sax, flute (1969 - early 1971)
Tony Burrows - vocals (1969)
Robin Shaw - bass, vocals (1969 - late 1973)
Robin Box - lead guitar, vocals (1969-1974, 1978)
Julian Bailey - drums (Spring 1970 - mid 1970)
Roger Hills - drums (1969, mid 1970 - mid 1973)
Brian Johnston - keyboards, vocals (Spring 1970 - Autumn 1970)
Ron Reynolds - keyboards, vocals (mid-1972 - 1974)
Brent Scott Carter - tenor sax, flute (mid 1971 - mid 1972)
Tony Hall - tenor sax (mid 1971 - mid 1972)
David Kerr-Clemenson - bass, vocals (late 1973 - 1974)
Tex Marsh - drums (mid 1973 - 1974)

Albums (UK):
White Plains (self-titled), Deram, Sept 1970
When You Are A King, Deram, Oct 1971

White Plains, c. 1971
L to R: Roger Hills, Robin Box, Robin Shaw and Brent Scott Carter

White Plains, c. 1973
Back: Robin Shaw, Robin Box and Roger Hills
Front: Pete Nelson and Ron Reynolds

Robin on TOTP with White Plains, 14 May 1970
L to R: Brian Johnston, Ricky Wolff, Robin Box, Pete Nelson, Robin Shaw and Julian Bailey

Photo from Popscene

© Photo by Chris Walter
White Plains c. 1971
L to R: Pete Nelson, Robin Shaw, Robin Box, Brent Scott Carter, Roger Hills, and Tony Hall



Crucible (1971)
In early 1971, Rick Wolff left White Plains to pursue a solo project, which involved other members of White Plains, along with Gordon Haskell (ex-Flower Pot Men, Fleur de Lys) and Martin Sack (ex-Martinets, Melody Fair). The recordings were shelved and an album was never released. At some point Rick's project was combined with that of fellow White Plains member, Robin Shaw, and was given the name Crucible. A combined total of sixteen tracks were recorded, but only four have ever been released. 
See full biography HERE

Members:
Rick Wolff - lead vocals, harmonium
Robin Box - guitar
Gordon Haskell - bass
Martin Sack - bass
Roger Hills - drums
Robin Shaw - lead vocals, bass
Julian Bailey - drums

Albums (UK):
Extremes (Excerpts From The Soundtrack), Various Artists, LP, Deram, 1972
Extremes (Excerpts From The Soundtrack), Various Artists, CD, Gonzo Multimedia, 7 April 2017

Thanks to Gordon Haskell and Martin Sack for providing info.

back cover of 2017 CD release


Zenith (late 1974 to 1975)
Zenith was formed out of White Plains in late 1974 by Pete Nelson, Ron Reynolds, and Robin Box. Two singles were released on the Dawn label, both co-written by Pete Nelson and Ron Reynolds and produced by Tony Hiller. It isn't confirmed if bassist David Kerr-Clemenson (also from the 1973/1974 White Plains lineup) was involved in this project. Nor is it confirmed who played drums on the tracks, as Roger Hills had left White Plains in mid-1973 and Tex Marsh had gone on to rejoin the Tommy Hunt Band around late 1974.

Members:
Pete Nelson - vocals
Robin Box - guitar
Ron Reynolds - keyboards

Singles (UK):
"A Face You Won't Forget" (Reynolds, Nelson) b/w "Just The Two Of Us In Mind" (Reynolds, Nelson), Dawn, 17 Jan 1975
"A Fool That Was In Love" (Reynolds, Nelson) b/w "Silent Words" (Reynolds, Nelson), Dawn, 9 May 1975

Members of Zenith, Robin Box and Pete Nelson, c. 1973


Uncle Tone & His Magic Sax (1976)
After Zenith, Robin Box and Roger Hills reunited with bassist Robin Shaw and sax player Tony Hall. In late 1976, they recorded their own version of the Christmas classic "Sleigh Ride" on the PVK record label.

Members:
Tony Hall - vocals, sax
Robin Shaw - bass
Robin Box - guitar
Roger Hills - drums
Frankie J. Marshall - keyboards, vocals on B-side

Singles (UK):
"Sleigh Ride" (Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish) b/w "Shoes" (Shaw, Box, Hall), PVK, 3 Dec 1976

45 picture sleeve, UK, 1976
Pic from 45cat.com


Punchline (1980)
In 1980, Robin Box and his good friend, Gordon Waller (ex-Peter & Gordon) got together and recorded their take on the traditional Christmas song "Silent Night". It was recorded at Studio Republic in Pinner, Middlesex, UK. 

Members:
Gordon Waller - vocals
Robin Box - guitar

Singles (UK):
"Silent Night" (Trad., Arr. Box, Waller, Duncan) b/w "Who'd Be Father Christmas Every Single Day Of The Year" (Duncan, Box, Waller), Punchline, 1980

B-side label, UK, 1980


Robin Box (Solo) (1982)
In 1982, Robin recorded and released his only single "I Ain't Got You" on the Punchline label. This song would soon be reworked and included in a production of Leonardo: The Musical with the song titled "Leonardo's Interview".

Members:
Robin Box - vocals, guitar, other instruments
Tex Marsh - drums

45 picture sleeve, UK, 1982
Pic from 45cat.com

That same year, Robin and Tex Marsh worked together once more as session players on the Bari Watts song "Boys Cry", recorded at Studio Republic. The song is featured on Bari's Lost And Found Volume Two album, released on CD in the early 2000s.


Leonardo: The Musical (1983)
In 1983, Robin Box and Gordon Waller, along with writer Robert Duncan, put together a musical about Leonardo da Vinci entitled Leonardo: The Musical (Not to be confused with 1993's Leonardo the Musical: A Portrait of Love). Under the direction of Peter Wheeler and with the help of sound engineer Bari Watts, the play made it's debut at the Players Theatre in Thame, UK. Due to it's local success, the musical was moved to London, where it was, unfortunately, short-lived and panned by critics.

On 6 January 2011, the CD of the musical's soundtrack was released on the Blue Pie label, and featured the talents of Gordon Waller, Robin Box, Pauline Burr, Mike D'Abo, Nigel Lambert and Mike D'Albuquerque.

Tracks:
"Painter's Heart"
"Leonardo's Interview"
"Isabelle's Letter"
"Missing La France"
"Beastly Madness"
"Leonardo Files"
"Wake Up Dreamer"
"Weak Hand, Weak Heart"

Album cover, 2011


Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers (1988 to 2002)
Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers were a 1960s British R&B group, best known for their UK hits "One Way Love" (1964) and "Got To Get You Into My Life" (1966). The band called it quits in the late 1970s. In 1988, the band was reformed and the lineup included Cliff Bennett, Mark Lundquist, Sid Phillips, Moss Groves, Robin Shaw and Robin Box. They performed regularly at '60s Shows. It's not known if Robin continuously toured with the band through 2002 or if his membership in the band was periodic. In 2002, Robin was involved in the recording of Cliff's Loud And Clear album, which included re-recordings of his old hits, along with several new tracks.

Members (Loud And Clear Album):
Cliff Bennett - vocals
Robin Box - guitar
Robin Shaw - bass
Sid Phillips - baritone sax, tenor sax, keyboards
Tony Hall - tenor sax
Bobby Llovett - trumpet
Stuart Reese - trumpet
Darren Bazzoni - drums

Albums (UK):
Loud And Clear, Delicious Records, 15 April 2002

Robin Shaw and Robin Box, Feb 2002
Pic from White Plains Site


White Plains (reformed) (2004 to 2006) 
White Plains reformed in 2004 with Robin Box, Robin Shaw, Roger Hills, and singer/keyboardist Bip Wetherell (ex-St. Cecilia, ex-Tornados). After initial rehearsals at Raven Hall in Corby, the group re-recorded four of their hits with Bip on lead vocals ("My Baby Loves Lovin'", "Julie Do Ya Love Me?", "When You Are A King", and "I've Got You On My Mind"). After their first promotional gig at Raven Hall, keyboard player Paul Ward was added to the lineup and former member Tony Burrows joined the group as a second vocalist. White Plains continued to gig over the next two years, playing various UK venues including Butlins at Bognor Regis. In 2006, singer Bip Wetherell left the group to form a backing band for an Elvis tribute act called Memphis King. The remaining members of White Plains then formed the group Deep South and set off on a two-year theatre tour, which ended with an appearance at the London Palladium.

In 2009, a digital-only album entitled The Best Of White Plains was released. This album would be re-released in 2013 under the title Get Up With White Plains. Eleven of the album's tracks feature Bip Wetherell on lead vocals: the four re-recorded hits, five cover songs and two tracks penned by Bip ("Galaxy" and "We Used To Be Friends"). These five cover songs and two original tracks do not feature Robin Box, Robin Shaw, or Roger Hills. However, the remaining tracks do feature the band members with Robin Shaw taking the lead on "Fallen In Love For The First Time", "Gonna Find Love One Day", and "Stranger In My Home Town". Robin Box lends lead vocals to the track "My Girl (She's Like Heaven To Me)". The album also includes an instrumental called "Where Are We Now".

Members (2004-2006):
Bip Wetherell - vocals, keyboards
Tony Burrows - vocals (tour only)
Robin Box - guitar, vocals
Robin Shaw - bass, vocals
Roger Hills - drums

In the Spring of 2013, another reunion took place with Tony Burrows, Robin Shaw, and Roger Hills joining Paperlace and The Glitterband on the Platinum Hit Makers Tour. 

Thanks to Bip Wetherell for providing info.

Clockwise from bottom left: Paul Ward, Roger Hills, Tony Burrows, Robin Shaw, and Robin Box
Photo courtesy of Andy K



If you have any corrections, can fill in any gaps or have photos that can be added, please contact me (Kelly).



posted by Kelly Kinsley

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