The Versatiles 1954 - 1965
The Versatiles

Dick Robinson, Chromatic - Mel Hummel, Bass - Zan Dale Robinson, Chord

Dick and Zan Dale are two of the four "Robinson Brothers" harmonica quartet. Each an accomplished soloist, Paul Jr. played the bass, Dick, the Chromatic, Zan Dale, the Chord (he was the youngest chord player in the world at that time being only 17 years old), and Ken, the Polyphonia. The brothers are the sons of the famous "Harmonica King" Paul Robinson who was a featured artist on the Rudy Valee Radio Show (CBS) and the Al Pearce Radio Show.

Paul, Dick, and Zan Dale played with Borrah Minnevitch's Harmonica Rascals between 1951 and 1953 (Zan only filled in for brother Dick for three weeks) before breaking out on their own as the "Robinson Brothers Quartet" and then (less brother Paul) they recruited Mel Hummel, another former Minnevitch player, and formed a group called "The Versatiles"that worked throughout the northeastern U.S. and Canada between 1953 and 1965.

Aside from working theaters and nightclubs, two of the brothers (Zan Dale and Ken) took time out in March of 1954 to set the world record for continuous playing of the harmonica - 51 hours and 34 minutes (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1954 Sunday edition Circa, March 20, 1954) a mark previously established in 1934 (see Ripley's Believe It Or Not , Cleveland Plain Dealer May, 1934) by their father Paul Robinson, Sr.

Paul Jr. filled in on the Bass with the Harmonicats when Don Les came down ill for three weeks.

Paul, Dick and Zan Robinson are deceased, Ken is retired and resides in Atlantic City, N.J.

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