Robert Young was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on the 8th January 1935. He showed considerable musical aptitude at an early age and it was obvious that he was destined to have a career in entertainment. He played many musical instruments, including piano, guitar, clarinet - and, believe it or not - the bagpipes!
After serving in the army as a clarinet and piano player in a military band, Robert first appeared in a musical partnership with his younger brother Jack, touring the club circuits in the North East and playing in the famous Howard and Wyndham revive Five past Eight, before moving to the South Coast for a Summer Season in Bournemouth.
Wolves Social Club: Programmes for March 1969
“Our Variety Show on Tuesday, 25th March, is one you should not miss. Topping the bill that night we have one of the finest acts in Clubland, Maxine and Robert Young, recently taken over by the Grades Organisation. They will truly astound you with their all-round performance, and with six times London Palladium star Ross Macmanus, one of Britain’s best ventriloquist acts Keith Harris on the same show, it must rate as one of the strongest shows to date.”
“Tuesday, March 25th
7:45 p.m. This is a Ticket Show – Have you got yours?
The fabulous, fantastic, tremendous act that I will guarantee will stun you. Introducing for the first time in the Midlands Maxine and Robert Young. You’ll applaud and applaud this wonderful couple.”
Robert's potential as a solo performer was soon recognised, in the early 1970s, when he was awarded the trophy of the Most Outstanding Vocal Act by the journal The Stage and Television Today. It was the American company CBS that launched Robert on a new international career.In 1971, Robert released his first album, A Portrait of Robert Young; it’s success was followed by the album Love Remembers in 1972, and the singles There Must be Someone, Rosemary Blue, My Love for You, and The Whole World was Dancing were subsequently released. 1973 saw the release of the album Songs that Live Forever, with From Robert with Love released in 1974 and Robert Young Sings Great Songs from Great Shows released in 1976. The single No More Tears, sung partly in Russian, was released in 1974.
Robert had an ability to sing in several different languages, which resulted in his visits to many European countries, as well as to Australia, New Zealand and most part of Africa. Robert not only claimed first prize at the Belgian Song Festival, but also won three prizes at the Yugoslavia International Song Festival. His trips abroad also included cruises to the Greek Islands, the Mediterranean, and crossings to New York on the QE2.
He hosted his own show on Belgian TV - "Robert Young and Company" - and appeared as a guest artist on German television in tributes to Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.
Robert also has the distinction of being the first British singer to open up the Iron Curtain. He toured the USSR extensively, performing to sell-out audiences in theatres with a capacity of over 6,000 people, not only the major cities like Kiev, Moscow and Leningrad, but the smaller towns also, in Siberia and the outlying Asiatic provinces. Receptions everywhere were rapturous. At the end of the two hour shows, the stages were littered with flowers and gifts. In all, Robert made four ten-week tours of the Soviet Union and made seven TV spectaculars for Russian Television, which were shown repeatedly in his absence. He was the only artist in the 1970s ever to have released an album in the Soviet Union for Sterling royalties.
In many European countries, especially Belgium, fan John Van Buyten fondly remembers Robert being called the “Englisch Mario Lanza”.
Robert has appeared in cabaret, clubs, and summer shows all over Britain, where he always received a standing ovation for his fantastic singing voice. Robert also made numerous radio and television broadcasts, including The Morecambe and Wise Show, Stars on Sunday, Pebble Mill and Larry Grayson’s Generation Game.
In 1976/77, Robert played the part of Prince Charming in the London Palladium’s spectacular pantomime Cinderella, and in 1983, by public demand, he made a return visit to his native Newcastle to appear as the Prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
As a theatre and cabaret performer, Robert’s work took him to all parts of the country, and some of his engagements included several weeks at the Savoy, the Dorchester, the Cafe Royal and other leading London hotels. Robert had great versatility and an ability to communicate with audiences old and young alike. A show featuring Robert Young was always a night to remember.