Robert William Brass was born on March 8, 1951 in Birch River, Manitoba. He began his singing career when he was 24 years of age. Prior to that, he drove truck throughout his early years and as well through the beginning of his entertaining adventure.
In 1974, Norman Genaille and Ray LeClaire came up to Robert and asked him to fill in for the week-end at The Merchants Hotel on Selkirk Avenue. That week-end began the journey of excitement, drama, and fulfillment, all which led Robert to the name Robbie Brass.
In 1975, Robbie, Norman, Ray, and Billy Valentine approached Stephen Bandura and asked him to produce their music. He agreed, and a 45 record was produced with the songs Mama’s Waiting and Teach Me to Forget. In 1977, Red Wine came up with their first full album, ‘I Love Red Wine and Country Music’. The group consisted of Robbie Brass, Norman Genaille, Vic Monkman, and Wayne Link.
They began touring Canada, and all the northern communities of Manitoba and surrounding provinces. The Down’s Hotel was thee place to perform, and C-Weed invited Robbie and Red Wine to perform there one evening. They met Ma Henning and returned numerous times after that. The second album called ‘Come & Go’, was created in 1979.
Red Wine began their journey to stardom. Mike Reid of CHMM Radio began playing their music. Wild Bill Flamont, C-FRI Radio, was a great fan of Red Wine. He played their music everyday of the week. During this time, many musicians lent their talent to Red Wine. Ron Zelmer was a part of the band, Ralph Catagas played numerous times with the group.
By the time Red Wine created their third and final album in 1981 as a group, which was titled ‘Lonely Lady’, Red Wine contained many musicians. Jimmy Flett, Peanuts Morazic, Robbie Cheswick, and Sonny Bandura became well known to be associated with Red Wine. Stephen Bandura, Ron Hallderson, Wayne Link, and Robbie Brass were the producers of the fine country music we all love.
Sunshine Records with Ness & Linda Michaels plays a part in the making of Robbie Brass. Robbie Brass and Red Wine won many awards during their career. One of the awards, “The Golden Award” from the Hall of Fame with MACA was won by the band.
During the years between 1975 and 1990, Robbie Brass & Red Wine jammed with many, many powerful musicians. They played with George Straight, Eddie Raven, Tommy Hunter, Carol Baker, Jerry Palmer, Dick Damron, Al Churney, Johnny Lee, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Good Brothers, Gene Britisher, Ronnie Profit, and Buddy Knox.
The musicians named here are not the only talented people Red Wine shared the stage with; there are many others that are well known across Canada. Red Wine performed at the Charleswood Motion Days (Buffalo Burger Days), for the Western Hour, the Red River Exhibition, Jigfest, Festival Du Voyager, Folklarama at the Friendship Centre, Viscount Gort, and many nightclubs and country bars in Canada. Robbie has also performed at the Playhouse Theatre, the Centennial Concert Hall, Rainbow Stage, the Convention Centre, the Fort Garry Hotel, The Westin, and many times at socials & functions.
Many events for charity were done for groups such as, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, the Variety Club, and a local charity called The Cut-a-thon, where the group donated their hair for charity. Many other groups donated their time and talent for these associations, such as C-Weed, Len Henry, Ray St. Germaine, Burt Todd, Pat Blyth, and Reg Bouvette.
Robbie Brass came out with his solo album entitled ‘Taking It Easy, Making It Right’, which Robbie and Wayne Link produced. Many songs from this album, as well as the other albums, climbed the charts to number one. With the help of newspapers, television, radio, and loyal fans, Robbie Brass became a household name.
We would also like to acknowledge many of the local bars which invited Robbie to play every chance they had. The Westbrook Inn with Tony Sianchuk, The Downs Inn with Ma Henning, and The Stock Exchange with Morris Basset. In the year 2004, Wayne Link brought out the beginning of a remarkable collection. The Best of Red Wine Volume One is now in stores across Canada. In 2005, Wayne added another, The Best of Red Wine Volume Two, joined the first. Today, the remake of Robbie’s solo album, Taking It Easy, Making It Right, will be hitting the stores very soon.
Robbie Brass has accomplished a great number of achievements, but his one true career and dedication belongs to his family. Robbie has five daughters, two sons, three grandsons, and four granddaughters.
Thanks to his devoted fans, Aboriginal communities, and the Métis Federation for making Robbie Brass & Red Wine the success that they are. (courtesy of facebook)