In 1946 Bobby Robinson opened his record store Bobby’s Happy House on 125th street in Harlem becoming the first black owned business on the famous Harlem street. The music business legend died yesterday at the age of 93.
Five years after opening the shop he expanded into the music recording business working with hundreds of artists from Gladys Knight and the Pips to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
In the late 1970s, Robinson became one of the first label owners to record rap music, cutting artists like Doug E. Fresh and Spoonie Gee.
Robinson eventually had to move the shop around the corner in the late 1990s, and he closed for good on Jan. 21, 2008, when his new landlord decided to raze the building for a development.
“I’ve seen 125th St. at its best and worst,” Robinson said in late 2007. “And I’ll tell you, there’s no more exciting place in the world.”