Jimmy Robinson

born: 06 April 1922
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
died: 03 November 1988
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(age 66)

Black American child actor best known for playing Hambone Johnson in Larry Darmour's Mickey McGuire series.
His Birth Certificate gives his name as "JIMMIE ROBINSEN" born to "Elijah" (1875-1950) and "Jenette Robinsen" (c.1878-????). He worked as a boilermaker for the Union Pacific RR and located to CA from TX before 1910. The Mom was also from TX but met and married Elijah in LA in 1920. He was divorced and she was a widow (Smith) and her maiden name was Robson or Robeson.
While at Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles (c.1939), after school, weekends, holidays, and summer breaks, he and other students played "gigs" with professional bands. Jimmy played with the Al Adams Band. Even so, he was one of only three black students ( with Dexter Gordon & Chico Hamilton) to get "A's" in Mrs. Smith's English class and she was known to be tough! Stymie Beard attended the same High School, three years behind them.
James Henry Robinson registered for the WWII Draft on 30 June 1942 and listed his employer as "Les Hite". On 07 December 1942 he enlisted in the US Cavalry with a civilian job classification as "Musician and.....". It's very possible that he went to the segregated all-Black 10th ("Buffalo Soldiers") or 28th Cavalry Regiments stationed at Camp Lockett CA to guard the Mexican border about 60 miles in the desert from San Diego. Several Jazz musicians from his "South Central" LA neighborhood were drafted or enlisted and were placed in the military band unit at Camp Lockett or other bases as told in interviews of LA Jazz musicians taped for an oral history project conducted by UCLA in the 1990's.
A newspaper "blurb" from 24 October 1942 says ".....Jimmy Robinson, trombonist with Les Hite, will be remembered by those out of their 'teens as "Hambone" of the Mickey McGuire movies".
"James Robinson" is listed as one of two trombonists on Les Hite records recorded earlier in 1942 in Los Angeles.
By 1945, Les Hite had pretty much "drifted" out of the music business when Jimmy was discharged from the US Army on 17 December 1945.
In LA in October 1946, his sister, Emma, married professional boxer, Wm. Doyle Mitchell.
In 1947, "James Robinson" was playing trombone in Lionel Hampton's Orchestra.
In December 1950, he is the "informant" for his Dad, Elijah's, LA Death Certificate.
I assume he continued playing for various Jazz bands. Many of these musicians changed bands (and sometimes instruments) often, making them difficult to follow especially with a common name like "Robinson" as a musician. "Big" Jim Robinson (1892-1976) was a Jazz trombonist from New Orleans who evidently never played with the Les Hite Orchestra. There was a contemporary "Jimmy" Robinson who played coronet for various Jazz bands, for example.

One source lists the wrong actor (James O. Robinson) with dates of (30 July 1918 - 02 November 1967).
Real name: James Henry Robinson
Height: 5'4"
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Wild Babies!
Native boy

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8ZR-RS3 (1920 Nov 26 LA: Elijah Robinson marr Jennette Robson Smith)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QGL7-JGXL (1922 Apr 6 LA birth JIMMIE ROBINSEN)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPX8-G1Z (1988 Nov 3 death CADI:b. 1922 Apr 06: JAMES HENRY ROBINSON)
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/85933174 (Grave JAMES HENRY ROBINSON)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS2B-6SQW-Z?i=18&cc=2786603&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AQGFS-C3WX (1942 Jun 30 LA Draft Registration:empl Les Hite:ht.5'3")
https://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html 1942 (Oct.24 p.6:with Les Hite Orch: was "Hambone" with MICKEY McGUIRE)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMF9-FHJ 1942 (Dec 07 LA enlists Cavalry: civilian musician: 4 yrs HS: ht.5'4")
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=2441&h=1064862&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=2238 (1945 Dec 17: Army discharge)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8KZ-JJH 1946 (Oct 27 LA: sister Emma marries prof boxer Wm.Mitchell)
http://www.newworldrecords.org/liner_notes/80284.pdf 1947 (Nov 10 LA: records w Lionel Hampton Orchestra)
https://jdisc.columbia.edu/issue/lionel-hampton-chronogical-lionel-hampton-and-his-orchestra-1947 (1947 Nov 10 LA: ditto above)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPQC-7RHC (1950 Dec 12 LA: Informant for Dad's Death Certificate)
https://wiki2.org/en/Jefferson_High_School_(Los_Angeles)#Notable_alumni (Jefferson HS notable alumni:no Jimmy (not famous enough) but Dexter Gordon, Chico Hamilton and Mathew Beard)
https://tedpanken.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/r-i-p-chico-hamilton-september-20-1921-november-25-2013-two-wkcr-interviews-and-a-downbeat-blindfold-test/ (c.1939 LA:HS grade "A" in English)
http://oralhistory.library.ucla.edu/viewFile.do?itemId=30101&fileSeq=8&xsl=http://oralhistory.library.ucla.edu/xslt/local/tei/xml/tei/stylesheet/xhtml2/tei.xsl#p150 1942
(South Central musicians enlist in US Cavalry Band)
https://wiki2.org/en/Jim_Robinson_(trombonist) ("Big" Jim Robinson (1892-1971): one of several musician Jimmy Robinson's)
Jim Jarvis (extensive research and information)
Matthew Lydick (information)

This page was last updated on: 03 January 2020