The Story

rrMusic04N-Joy Records Story – Roland L. “Rocky” Robin, Founder – THE MAN

Written by: Stacie Robin Sibille, daughter; with the input from Evy Robin McCain, daughter; Ryan Louis Robin, son; Ritchey Loman Robin, son and inspired by the loving memory of their brother Derek Vincent Robin, whom they lost to suicide on March 14, 2005 at the early age of 23.

Rocky Robin started N-JOY Records in 1963 and also ROCROB Publishing, Robin Enterprises and Entertainment Co., (booking bands), NELA Promotions, promoting such acts as B.J. Thomas when “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” was number one on the Billboard. Here’s the program from a concert in Monroe, LA. The event was also written about in the local Monroe newspaper. That article can be viewed here.

rrMusic01He wrote songs as well as recorded some, such as a regional hit “Lonely Man”. Some of his songs were recorded by other artists and released with different record labels. He also recorded two songs under the name “Lance Farr”, one of which he wrote was titled “Mary Lisa”, as a favor for his friend who was also a pharmacist, whose granddaughter called him “Big” instead of Grand Daddy. The flip side song he wrote was called “Too Much Ain’t Enough” and they were released under the N-Joy Record label.

rrMusic02However, his love was always the music business, whether it was recording, music making, promoting the artist, or any other facet of the music industry.

Roland “Rocky” Robin was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame on September 19, 1993 (See Certificate) and some of his accomplishments are cited on the certification.

Roland “Rocky” Robin is a Lafayette, Louisiana native, who after graduation from Cathedral High School in 1954, moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to study Pre-Med at Tulane University. In 1958 he moved to Monroe, Louisiana, where at NLU he acquired his Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy. While a student in Monroe, he began to produce, write and promote music, much of which was heavily influenced by the South Louisiana sound. “Rocky” Robin worked frequently with South Louisiana Artists like Bobby Page, Roy Perkins, and John Fred. He even appeared on stage with various South Louisiana Groups, and sang lead vocal on “Lonely Man”, a song he wrote. However, he focused largely on producing and booking bands in Northeast Louisiana for nightclubs and local college related functions. He eventually formed the N-JOY label, and one of his releases, Duane Yates’ “Here I Stand”, actually beat out a Rolling Stones song in a popularity contest on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Show. Among other notable records produced by Rocky Robin during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s are Randy and the Rockets’ “Let’s Do the Cajun Twist”, Huey Darby’s “Rockin Robin”, and John Fred and the Playboys’ “Boogie Chillen”. During the late 1960’s, however, he relinquished the music business to focus on his work as a Pharmacist. He eventually left Pharmaceutics to become a highly successful Real Estate Developer and now resides in Lafayette, Louisiana.

He learned early on that at the time of the 50’s and 60’s, the money wasn’t in song writing and singing, but in the other areas of the music industry. His vision was to contract artists or musical groups to an agreement and he would finance the recording sessions.

On many occasions, he was successful in engaging the artists to a recording contract with N-Joy Records; contract with his production company to finance the recording studio and expenses related to producing records; publishing most of the songs he recorded with his RocRob Publishing Company, while financing the artists through Robin Enterprises as well as booking their performances on the road for night clubs, college events such as fraternity and sorority parties, society, social and other music events in need of live entertainment.

His desire to explore all the possibilities, to create, to lead, to succeed and thrive for financial benefits, always gave him tremendous happiness and great satisfaction. He started these companies while attending Pharmacy school at Northeast University in Monroe, Louisiana. He was working part-time at three (3) different drug stores and supporting a family which included his first daughter Evy who was born in 1959, a son Ryan, born in 1961 and another daughter Stacie, born in 1962. After he bought Medical Arts Pharmacy in 1963 a second son, Ritchey was born in 1966. He did not have very much disposable income to begin all of his endeavors, but somehow managed to keep everything afloat, which didn’t give him much time for himself or for his family.

After graduating from Cathedral High School, Rocky concentrated on his medical undergraduate studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. After completing four years at Tulane, he applied and was accepted into the School of Pharmacy at Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana.

Upon graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy, he continued to expand N-JOY Records and also purchased and owned 100 % of Medical Arts Pharmacy in Monroe, Louisiana, working on a full time basis through lunch time, opening the store at 8:00 a.m. and closing at 9:00 p.m.

His innovative way of marketing led to the structure of the avenue that he wanted to run the company on as little capital as possible to record artists and yet position N-JOY Records to have the ability to succeed at greater levels than he could afford to take it. His philosophy was to record the artist as a producer in financing the cost associated with bands, recording studios, backup vocals (singers) musicians and record pressing plants. Other expenses included such other areas as; record promotions, billboard, magazine advertising, travel, lodging, food and other expenses.

Once a record would attract a larger audience than what was within the N-JOY distribution area, he would lease or sell the record to a record label with a larger regional or even a national distribution affiliation. On occasions he would also allow the artist to go to the larger record company for an agreed business arrangement. Among some of the companies that N-JOY had a business arrangement were Jewel Records and Paula Records owned by long time friend Stan Lewis, Hanna-Barbara Records, Holiday Inn Records, Jin Records and others.

He enjoyed the music world and that is what inspired him to name his company N-JOY. He felt that not only did it reflect the love he had for music, but it also just said what he meant to say (N-JOY) to everyone buying records. He was recognized for his contribution to the music industry, as well as his achievements and particularly being instrumental in the cutting edge of music which came to be known as “Swamp Pop”. As such, he has been mentioned in a couple of books, which were written about the history of Swamp Pop music that started in South Louisiana. Numerous Artists, who Rocky Robin had recorded for N-Joy Records, were signed by other record labels and actually did not release on N-Joy Records, therefore the credits are not listed as N-Joy Artist or Productions attributed to N-Joy Records.

Note: List Records, artist, production author, etc. – List stuff here

Later, he reactivated his company, Roland L. Robin & Associates, Inc. and again made new friendships through the wonderful contacts he had in the executive branches of many companies and Rocky secured real estate locations for several of them.

In forming the Derek Development Corporation, he then ventured into the real estate development business, which he expanded to a range from single tenant national clientele to his development and family ownership in Derek V. Robin Investment Trust of 100 acres in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which he named “The Lake Charles Power Center”. He was responsible for land sales, leases, build to suit, designing, construction, securing tenants and/or selling phases of the shopping center to single and/or multiple investors. His success in this development is realized in the One Million square feet of retail stores that is credited to him as being one of the first Power Shopping Centers in the country. A more detailed summary of a partial list of his accomplishments can be reviewed in the brochure designed for the Derek Development Corporation, L.L.C.

The company was named in loving memory of his youngest son, Derek V. Robin, whom they lost suddenly to suicide on March 14, 2005 at the young age of 23. Today, “Rocky” wholeheartedly supports his two daughters, Stacie and Evy, who in honor of their youngest brother Derek, have formed a non-profit organization, named; Derek V. Robin Foundation (D.V.R). The funds will be used to assist suicide victims and their survivors in their time of hardship, through education, awareness and support.

It isn’t a coincidence that the girls, known as “The Robin Sisters”, wanted to bring awareness to life and how precious life is, especially after losing Derek, affectionately called “Odie”. They formed “Robins N-JOY Enterprises, L.L.C.”, to have the ability to generate extra funds to contribute to the D.V.R. Foundation, by designing and creating merchandise to sell. They had previously lost their grandfather, Dudley V. Robin (Pop), to suicide at the age of 71, in 1984. Both, Odie and Pop have the same initials to their names, which is D.V.R, so within the N-JOY logo, the “Robin Girls” have placed the initials “dvr” on an upward star burst design, indicating their journey to a better life. These tragic events in their lives inspired them to want to honor their memories with the formation of the foundation.

With pride of their heritage, the girls also included a Robin (bird) within their marketing material as a tribute to their family unity and support in LIFE. They feel very strongly that everyone should recognize the importance of LIFE and the feeling of Joy that one has, if only they give love to others, and be prepared to receive love from others. It is from the pain of the unfortunate loss of their loved ones, that drew all of the Robin family closer together and helped to give birth to “N-JOY-Life”, and they wanted to share it with others, and that sharing is Life.

Robins N-JOY Enterprises, L.L.C., has already created several Life Line products, such as; shirts, shorts, caps, hats and flip-flops, for both men and women and of course for children as well. They have designed the popular wrist bands, parfume for the ladies and cologne for men and will soon add their designer jewelry line. A percentage of all N-JOY Life Line Product Sales will be donated to the D. V. R. Foundation.

Even though, tragedy has thrown another curve in his life, Roland “Rocky” Robin is very proud of his daughters Stacie and Evy and as well, of everything the girls are accomplishing for the foundation. Little did he imagine in 1963 when he founded N-JOY Records, that some 40 years later in 2008, the name “N-JOY” would be recycled. But more so, “Rocky” is very excited to see that even now, after so many years have gone by, a New Life is being breathed into N-JOY, and again represents love, compassion and most importantly its mission as a symbol of appreciation for Life, as it also supports the Derek V. Robin Foundation. It’s kind of like; a Re-Birth of N-JOY. Hmmm !!!! Those of you that believe in signs from above, would run with that and surely N-JOY the journey down that road.

Those that know “Rocky” believe that his competitiveness may be attributed to his high school days, where he participated in sports. More particularly, boxing was where he excelled the most and enjoyed much recognition and awards for his ability. His winning attitude and always striving to be the best earned him a record of 61 wins and only 3 losses (all by split decision by the Judges 2-1). From the sport of boxing, he learned the competitive aspect as well as the knowledge to make instant decisions, once in the ring, he alone had to determine how to analyze his opponent quickly and act accordingly to win.

At the age of 17, he was the youngest boxing coach in the State of Louisiana His passion to explore new avenues is fueled by his high energy and rewarded by his success. His senior high school year book illustrates how driven he was (attached), however, he had to make time to help his dad (Pop) with the chores, relating to all aspects in running a dairy farm.

“Rocky” was selected by his peers, the “Most Popular” student in his senior year in 1954 at Cathedral High School in Lafayette, Louisiana, which properly sums up his life. As he continues to N-JOY Life, he will also strive to create new ventures and plans on being a vital part of his businesses and family every day.

Stacie, his youngest daughter spearheaded the N-JOY Life Line, having researched and implemented everything from creative designing to merchandise. She is the Chief Executive Officer and in addition, is the Chief Operating Officer of Derek Development Corporation. She is proud and in awe of her father’s energy, constant sharp mind and many creative accomplishments and has vowed to keep him working closely as an essential part of all the businesses.

As we wait in anticipation for the continuing challenges and aspirations of Rocky Robin, it should be noted that all five of his children have earned success in their own right and to add to their credits, those of them that have their own children are all wonderful and loving parents.

His oldest daughter, Evy Robin McCain, is the head bookkeeper at a large law firm, having offices in Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana, consisting of a total of attorneys and additional support personnel of people.

His oldest son, Ryan Louis Robin has mastered the real estate and development business, that he began learning from his dad since the age of 17 years old. After working with his dad, he decided to return to college and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Real Estate and Marketing. Ryan was previously associated with a development firm in Texas, prior to returning to join the family real estate business in 2009.  He is a licensed Louisiana real estate broker and his primary duties and responsibilities as Vice President of Derek Development Corp is the formation of projects and all the elements associated with guiding the development from start to finish.

His youngest daughter, Stacie Robin Sibille, began her career with Chart House, Inc. and after its sale; she opted to work at a very successful CPA firm and is currently working as CEO for Robins N-JOY Enterprises, L.L.C., as well as Chief Operating Officer, assisting her dad at Derek Development Corporation, L.L.C.

His second son, Ritchey L. Robin earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Pre-Law and Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, he applied and was accepted by two universities for Law School. While employed by a Court Judge to supplement his income to support his family, he began building and welding Bar-B-Q Pits in his garage at night. He designed and patented a Bar-B-Q Pit that could be attached to the rear bumper of vehicles. Within one (1) year, the business had grown so much, Ritchey decided to take a risk and quit his job to create more large custom Bar-B-Q Pit designs. His company, Gator Pit, L.L.C. is now the largest custom Bar-B-Q-Pit builder in the country with the average price being $12,500.00 dollars and going for as much as $60,000.00 dollars.

Of course, his third and youngest son, Derek V. Robin was the Sales and Marketing Officer for his dad at Derek Development Corp. He served the company extremely well, as he had the ability to handle any situation. Rocky was very proud of Derek for his natural talent for business and it was apparent that he would eventually head up the real estate development business, however Derek is most remembered as a loving son.

After Derek’s death, Rocky wanted to share the love of motorcycles that he had experienced with Derek, with the rest of his children; he decided to help and contributed to make it possible that they could all buy a bike. He and Derek loved to ride, customize and show their Harley Davidson, riding bikes was their connection to grow a strong bond between them. Each one of his children and their spouses now own a Harley bike. When they all get together, it is quite something to see, all 10 of them riding together as a family. Every sibling, both the boys and the girls started riding at the age of 4 or 5 years old. Rocky’s generosity is always present as he showers his family and friends with loving gifts, foremost in the spirit of Love, secondly he enjoys their happiness and the satisfaction he receives in giving to others. Over the years, he has contributed to his family in many ways and he encouraged them and given them opportunities to be creative and customize their own motorcycles to enter in motorcycle shows.

His family would not be complete without his eight (8) grandchildren and three (4) great-grandchildren. The apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, just like their dad, all of his children are hard working, dedicated to their respective professions, striving to be the best at what they do. They are all very close to their own little families but never too busy to connect with each other almost on a daily basis. All of his children and their families make it a point to schedule entire family gatherings now and then and if possible spend every Thanksgiving Holiday with dad.

Stay tuned to find out what idea “Rocky” will create next.
Thank you so much for your visit and any donations to the Derek V. Robin Foundation. Your kindness is always appreciated.