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Jon & Robin

The male-female duo Jon & Robin released quite a few singles and two albums in the mid- to late '60s, showing off an engaging style that craftily mixed bubblegum pop/rock with a little psychedelia and Southern soul. "Do It Again a Little Bit Slower" was their most popular single with its likable male-female vocal tradeoffs, a "Cool Jerk"-like soul piano riff, and a fadeout that languorously stretched out the suggestive title phrase. Their other singles and LPs included some enjoyable material as well, devised with help from some of the best production and backup musician talent in their Dallas base. The male half of the duo, Jon Abdnor, had recorded some solo singles for his millionaire father's Abnak label before hooking up with local vocalist Javonne Braga, who was billed as "Robin" on the records the pair made together. They released three singles in 1966 with their backing band the In Crowd before having a hit with the 1967 track "Do It Again a Little Bit Slower," which came from the pen of Wayne Carson Thompson, most famous for writing the Boxtops' "The Letter." The duo cut their first album under the supervision of Bobby Patterson, a fine soul singer Abdnor had met while they were both in college. The Soul of a Boy and a Girl included one original while the rest were covers and songs written for them by Thompson. They duo quickly recorded another album, this time with Mike Rabon of the Five Americans producing and several of his bandmates helping out. Elastic Event once again featured numerous songs written by Thompson and added more psychedelic flair to the sound. Neither album served to propel the duo to stardom and after issuing a handful of singles over the next two years -- the Thompson-penned soul-popper "Dr. Jon (The Medicine Man)" -- the duo went their separate ways. Abdnor put out a 1969 solo LP, Intro to Change, billed to John Howard Abdnor & the Involvement, then left the music industry. Braga never recorded again. The duo's music was reissued in 2004 when the Italian Liberty Bell label put out both albums on one disc, and in 2006 Sundazed released Do It Again: The Best of Jon & Robin. Fast-forward to 2023 and Sundazed revisited their music again on the collection The Singles.
© Richie Unterberger & Tim Sendra /TiVo

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