HISTORY WITH BILLY BOB’S:
Charlie Robison made his Billy Bob’s debut with Cory Morrow on April 16, 1999 and his first solo debut on July 2, 1999. He has played at The World’s Largest Honky Tonk a total of 38 times.
On August 31, 2012 Charlie got a tattoo on his arm to commemorate his “Live at Billy Bob’s” recording.
Charlie left his mark on our handprint wall of fame
ABOUT CHARLIE ROBISON
Charles Fitzgerald Robison (September 1, 1964 – September 10, 2023) was an American country music singer-songwriter. His brother, Bruce Robison, and his sister, Robyn Ludwick, are also singer-songwriters.
After a knee injury at Southwest Texas State University ended a potential football career, Charlie Robison came to Austin, Texas in the late 1980s and had stints in the bands Chaparral, Millionaire Playboys, and Two Hoots and a Holler. He went solo with his album “Bandera” in 1996. He subsequently signed with Sony and released “Life of the Party” on Sony’s subsidiary Lucky Dog Records. The album gave him three of his biggest hits including “My Hometown.” His next release was a live disc called “Unleashed Live,” which is credited to Charlie, brother Bruce, and Jack Ingram. He then signed with Columbia Records for “Step Right Up” and another live album.
In 2003, Robison was a judge on the first season of the TV singing competition Nashville Star.
Unhappy with the expectations & limitations of being a Nashville country artist, he moved to a smaller independent label, Dualtone, for “Good Times” in 2004, followed by extensive touring and newfound control over his career. Accordingly, his sound began to evolve away from mainstream/Nashville country and toward more Southern & hard rock influences.
Five years after the release of Good Times, Robison released Beautiful Day on June 23, 2009, on Dualtone. This was the first CD he self-produced. Both albums featured several songs written by Nashville singer-songwriter Keith Gattis.
His song “Good Times” was featured in the credits of HBO’s original series True Blood in the first season’s third episode.
In 2009, he embarked on an East Coast tour with stops in Little Rock, Nashville, Atlanta, Raleigh, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Iowa City, and Memphis to promote “Beautiful Day.” Since then he played primarily in Texas, with occasional shows in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
Robison was known for playing classic rock covers during his live shows. Some of these include: “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Highway to Hell” (AC/DC), “Call me the Breeze” (JJ Cale), “Rocket Man” (Elton John), and several Rolling Stones songs, including “Dead Flowers” and “Honky Tonk Women.” He also played several songs associated with Willie Nelson, including “Whiskey River” and “Stay all Night.”
His live band included Mark Tokach (lead guitar), Abe Combest (drums), Zeke Benenate (bass) J.C. Burt (steel guitar) and Chris Valdez (road manager and additional guitar). Prior to Beautiful Day, his band was known as The Enablers, and included Keith Robinson (drums), Scott Esbeck (bass) and Travis Woodard (drums). Other notable members have included Kim Deschamps (pedal & lap steel, mandolin and guitar from 2000–2009), Kevin Carroll (guitar), Chris Grady (bass), Louis Landry (keyboards and accordion), and Kris Brown (bass). His recordings have also featured special guests Lloyd Maines (who produced “Step Right Up” and “Good Times”), Rich Brotherton, Charlie Sexton, and Natalie Maines (duet on “The Wedding Song” and harmony vocals on “El Cerrito Place”).
In September 2014, Robison opened Alamo Icehouse in San Antonio, Texas, with former Major League Baseball player Brooks Kieschnick.
On September 24, 2018, Robison announced that he was permanently unable to sing due to complications from surgery, and that he was regretfully officially retiring from stage and studio.
Hey amigos, Charlie here. I’m sure you’ve all been wondering where I’ve been. Well, at the beginning of this year I underwent a surgical procedure that because of complications left me with the permanent inability to sing. Therefore, with a very heavy heart I am officially retiring from the stage and studio. Gonna keep it short but just wanted y’all to hear it from me. It’s been an amazing ride and I cannot tell you all what the last 25 years has meant to me. I was looking forward to another 25 but as they say “shit happens”. I thank you all for everything you’ve given me and I hope I was able to give you a fraction of the happiness you gave me. It was a hell of a ride but as they say all good things must end. Keep on supporting this thing we call Texas/Red dirt and hopefully we’ll all get to have a cocktail or two and talk about the good ol days. Until then, Buenos Noches. It’s been fun. Love each and every one of y’all.
Robison resumed his music career in 2022. He returned to Billy Bob’s as part of his first tour since 2018, playing at the same venue where he first played in 1999.
April 16th, 1999