Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS: Robbie Montgomery


Robbie Montgomery Photo courtesy of Robbie Montgomery

Major Works

1954-- professional singing group called the Ardrettes
1959-- background singing for Ike & Tina "Fool In Love"
1959-- sang in blues band with Earl Hooker
1961-- joined Ike & Tina's band as an Ikette
1968-- background singing for the Beatle
1971-- Dr. John's Nighttripper for eight years
1988-- developed bands Robbie Special Kinds & Robbie Dangerous Curves
1998-- opened Sweeties Pie Restaurant

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Robbie Montgomery: A Biography
By LaJoya Campbell (SHS)

Robbie Marie Montgomery was born on June 16, 1940, in Columbus, Mississippi, to Ora Gray and James Montgomery. Robbie had six brothers and two sisters whose  names are James, Walter, Robert, George, and Everett. Her two sisters are Linda, and Janice. When Robbie was six years old,  she and her family moved to Saint Louis, Missouri. Robbie attended Curtis Elementary School in Saint Louis. During this time she participated in school talent shows and also sang in the church choir. Later in 1954 Robbie graduated from Pruitt High School, at which time she  started her professional musical career.

Montgomery began singing with a group called the Chordrettes. They later changed their name to the Rhythemettes, and later they became the  Ardrettes.  In 1959,  Robbie sang background in the song "Fool in Love" for Ike and Tina Turner. She also sang in the blues band with Earl Hooker. During this time,  her son Andre Montgomery was born, and she joined Ike and Tina's band as a background singer.  They were known as the Ikettes. Seven years later she quit the band to sing background for the Beatles. In 1971,  she was a Nighttripper for Dr. John. The group called themselves Dr. John's Nighttrippers. The Nighttrippers were background singers that sang background for Dr. John in New Orleans, Louisiana. She sang with Dr. John until her son James Timothy Norman was born. After her son was born, Montgomery started singing commercial jingles and had two bands: Robbie Special Kinds, and Robbie's  Dangerous Curves.

One year later Robbie became very ill.  The doctors diagnosed her problem as  asthma, so she quit singing.  Robbie started doing dialyses at a Jewish  hospital for about ten years until she decided that she needed to do something with her money before it was all gone.

At age thirty- six, her oldest son Andre was found dead.  For her that was the worst thing that could ever have happened.  Although that hurt her very badly, she knew in her heart that she had to move on.  She decided  she would open a restaurant. Two years later Robbie opened her restaurant. It is called Sweetie's Pie Restaurant, and it has been open every since 1998. Robbie's restaurant has been named the number one soul food restaurant in Saint Louis, Missouri. Today Robbie is still living in Saint Louis, Missouri with a friend and keeping her restaurant running well.

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Interview with Robbie Montgomery
By LaJoya Campbell (SHS)

When were you born? The Mirettes
"I was born on June 16, 1940."

Where were you born?
"I was born in Columbus, Mississippi."

What were your parents'  names?
"My mother name was Ora Gray and my father name was James Montgomery."

How many brother and sisters did you have and what were their names?
"I have six brothers and two sisters. My brothers' names are James, Walter, Robert, George, and Everett. My sisters' names are Linda and Janice."

When did you start singing?Robbie Montgomery
"I started singing in talent shows at school at the age of 16. And I started singing professionally when I was 18 years old. When I completed high school."

What was the name of your high school?
"Pruitt High School"

Did you have any children?
"Yes, I had two boys. My first son was born in 1960 and his name was Andre Montgomery, and my other son is named James Timothy Norman he was born in 1979. "My son Andre died in 1996."

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Timeline

1940- June 16, born in Columbus, Mississippi
1946-moved to St. Louis, Missouri The Mirettes, Whirlpool
1952-began singing in talent shows and church be choir
1954-graduated from Pruitt High School
1954-started singing professionally with a group called the Chordrettes the they late became the Rhythmettes, then the Ardrettes
1959-background singing for Ike & Tina "Fool in Love"
1959-sang in blues band with Earl Hooker
1960-first son born Andre Montgomery was born
1961-joined Ike & Tina Turner until 1968
1968-background singing for the Beatles
1971-Nighttripper for Dr. John until 1979
1979-son James Timothy Norman was born
1984-sang commercial jingles
1988-had two bands "Robbie Special Kinds" & "Robbie Dangerous Curves"
1989-quit singing developed asthma
1989-did dialyses at a Jewish hospital for 10 years
1996-first son Andre died
1998-opened Sweeties Pie Restaurant
2002-restaurant named #1 soul food restaurant in St. Louis

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Related Websites

http://www.bluesworld.com/ROBBIE.html

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Last updated in 2002
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