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Tom Robinson Band

Tom was born in 1950 in Cambridge and is probably best known for his 1970s gay anthem song Glad To Be Gay. Being gay as a kid Robinson knew it was technically illegal, he had fallen in love with a boy at his school, and this led to him having a nervous breakdown over the situation and when aged sixteen tried to commit suicide.

For a short while Robinson was under the stewardship of the Kinks Ray Davies, but that stopped when Robinson became frustrated by Davies inability to keep to meetings. Instead Robinson got more involved in London gay political organisations.

He was with a group called Café Society but left them in 1976 and established the Tom Robinson Band and with them he had the 1977 top five hit 2 4 6 8 Motorway a great driving song, and is also supposed to be about a gay truck driver. Another hit followed called Rising Free, but it was the next single that made heads turn.

This song would cause some radio stations to BAN the single. The single was made to coincide with the 1976 gay pride celebrations in London. It was of course Glad To Be Gay, despite BBC Radio One banning the song it still did well in the top twenty, and Tom Robinson was the talk of many a playground. Education through pop I suppose.

The song led to an album called Power In The Darkness which reached No.4 in the UK charts, but the follow up album TRB2 was a failure. The next single was only a fair hit called Up Against The Wall, which did not even make the top thirty. The next four singles did not even make the top fifty.

Tom has since said he is no longer gay, but still supports the gay groups in the UK.

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