Frank “Sugar Chile” Robinson: Helping a National Boogie-Woogie Hero
inTheir Needson December 4, 2018
Last year, Frank “Sugar Chile” Robinson reached out to Music Maker after he lost most of his belongings in a house fire. After a quick google search, we were astonished by his profound impact on American music and quickly worked to get Frank a new bed and keyboard. After addressing Frank’s initial needs, we dug deeper into his situation and realized that Frank would need ongoing support. Music Maker put Frank on our Sustenance program — providing him with a monthly stipend so that he can meet critical needs such as food and medicine and recently upped his stipend when we found out that his needs still weren’t being met. Staff social worker Brittany Anderson has been working tirelessly to get Frank some additional benefits.
As a child prodigy, Sugar Chile was the first African-American artist ever to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner and was known nationally through his performances, newsreel features, and movie appearances during the 1940s, introducing boogie-woogie blues to millions of people. Like many child stars, Sugar Chile’s fame waned when he grew older he was forgotten by the music industry but not his musical legacy. Anyone that grew up during that era knew who Sugar Chile was — his musical gift impacted the entire country.