Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1980 Robbie Dupree – Hot Rod Hearts

Robert Dupuis was born and raised in Brooklyn. He started out singing with doo-wop groups in the mid-sixties and joined the group New World Rising in the early seventies. Nile Rodgers played guitar in the group and went on to join a series of other bands, including the disco band Chic.

Robert moved to Woodstock and began using the professional name, Robbie Dupree. He joined several bands during the seventies and began writing songs. In 1978, he moved to Los Angeles and began a solo career. He focused on soft rock songs

Robbie co-wrote Steal Away, the first single released from his album. The single reached #7 on the Hot 100 in 1980. When the single peaked on the charts, Dick Clark interviewed him and he sang his first two singles on American Bandstand.

The second single in 1980 was a song written by Stephen Geyer and Bill LaBounty, Hot Rod Hearts. The single did not live up to the success of his first release; it only reached #15 on the Hot 100. The Recording Academy nominated him for a Grammy award for the Best New Artist in 1981, but he lost out to Christopher Cross.

He recorded his second album in 1981. Only one from that album charted. Brooklyn Girls sounded similar to his first two hits but barely reached #54. That single was his last trip to the Hot 100.

The Wrestling Album, Vol. 2: Piledriver included his song Girls In Cars. The wrestling tag team Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel) used the song as their entrance tune for a few years in the late seventies.

Because of a dispute with his record company, Robbie did not release his third album until 1989. Robbie released a half-dozen other studio albums by 2012 and at least a dozen singles. He briefly had more success in Japan than he did in the US and released two albums only in Japan.

I never heard of it before either, but something called “yacht rock” grew up around the soft rock music industry on the west coast in the late seventies. Robbie grew to be a part of that genre and occasionally played with an Atlanta group, the Yacht Rock Revue.

Summer tours with other bands have become an annual event. That began with the All-Star Rock Concert in 2011 when Robbie joined John Cafferty, Orleans, David Pack (Ambrosia), John Ford Coley, Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie, Joe Lynn Turner, and Joe Bouchard. The Sail Rock 2013 tour featured Robbie, Christopher Cross, Player, Gary Wright, Al Stewart, Orleans, Firefall, and John Ford Coley. 2015 brought us the Rock the Yacht tour where he joined the Little River Band, Stephen Bishop, Ambrosia, and Player. Another Rock the Yacht tour in 2018 included Ambrosia, Peter Beckett (of Player) and Stephen Bishop.


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