Michigan had a few rock ‘n roll programs that were meant to counteract the national shows like American Bandstand, Shindig, Hullaballoo, and countless others. One of the most memorable was Swingin’ Time, a Detroit favorite that was broadcast from Canada on CKLW-Channel 9 in Windsor, Ontario.

Swingin’ Time’s host was Robin Seymour, who I always thought looked just like Gary Lewis of Gary Lewis & The Playboys.

Robin was a deejay on WKNR when he began his Swingin’ Time hosting duties in 1965. Teens made up the studio audience, who would dance to the latest records, just like on Bandstand. But being in such a hotbed of rock ‘n roll like Detroit, there were plenty of in-studio appearances by many of Michigan’s finest: Amboy Dukes, Bob Seger, Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas, Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, Rationals, Smokey & The Miracles, SRC, Stevie Wonder, Supremes, and the Temptations.

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Many national acts appeared as well, such as Bobby Goldsboro, Bobby Sherman, Brenda Lee, Dee Dee Sharp, Dionne Warwick, Everly Brothers, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, Freddy Cannon, James Brown, Joe Tex, Johnny Rivers, McCoys…it’s been said that even Cream appeared on the show.

Robin Seymour was born in 1926 and got his feet wet in radio during WWII when he appeared on the Armed Forces Radio Network. After the war he started work for WKMH in Dearborn. In 1963 he co-created the program Teen Town; in 1965 the title was changed to Swingin’ Time.

While WKMH was busy changing their call letters to WKNR, management gave Robin an ultimatum in so many words, which meant: “either stay in radio or choose your little TV gig…we won’t let you do both.” So Robin quit radio, left WKMH in the dirt, and devoted his time to Swingin’ Time. Not long afterward, CKLW offered him an on-air gig, which he accepted and was able to again do both TV and radio. He became the highest-paid deejay in America, raking in over $100,000 a year – big bucks for the time.

Robin gave up his Swingin’ Time duties in 1968 and was replaced by Tom Shannon until the show folded in 1969. He moved to Los Angeles in 1980, had a home in Phoenix, Arizona, and passed away in San Antonio, Texas in 2020 at age 94.

TV's "Swingin' Time" with Robin Seymour








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