Henry Bertholf “Spike” Robinson (January 16, 1930 – October 29, 2001) was a jazz tenor saxophonist. He began playing at age twelve, recording on several labels, including Discovery, Hep and Concord. However, he sought an engineering degree and followed that profession for nearly 30 years. In 1981 he returned to recording music.
Robinson was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on January 16, 1930. Beginning on alto saxophone in his early years, Robinson soon discovered that it was hard to make a living playing the kind of music he wanted to play.
In 1948, Robinson joined the US Navy as a musician and by 1950 was based in the UK. He was soon regularly jamming at London’s Club Eleven, Downbeat Club and Studio 51 with leading UK beboppers, including Tommy Pollard, Johnny Dankworth and Victor Feldman. He made a few records for Carlo Krahmer‘s Esquire label but eventually was transferred home and demobilized. Unhappy with the music scene in the Chicago area, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study electronic engineering at university.