Robb Johnson

Robb Johnson

Robb Johnson has worked as a classroom teacher by day and a songwriter by night since 1980. As a songwriter, he has received widespread critical acclaim:  “one of this country’s most important songwriters (no argument!)” (fROOTS), “An English original”(the Guardian), “one of our best singer-songwriters ever” (Mike Harding), and his songs are covered by many singers. “Gentle Men”, Robb’s family history of World War One is a particular career highlight. In 2016, PM Press in the US released “A Reasonable History of Impossible Demands”, a 5 CD career-retrospective. In 2018 Robb released “Ordinary Giants”, a 3 CD song suite based on his father’s life and times – the 1930s, the fight against fascism, the creation of the post-war Welfare State and the reaction of Neo-liberalism.

As a teacher Robb received widespread critical acclaim from the children and parents he worked with. From 1992 he has happily worked as an Early Years teacher. “You’re funny” remains one of his highest accolades. Robb was politically active not only as a songwriter but as an NUT union member. Highlights include a 1987 visit to East Berlin and a 1989 visit to Nicaragua, to make contact with the school his union association had twinned with, and to join in the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Revolution. Robb has been a school union rep and a local union executive committee member. In 2014 he was part of a campaign to oppose the back-door privatisation of a local secondary school – this was one of the first campaigns that successfully opposed academisation. He gave up teaching in 2015 in order to spend more time on education. In 2017 he was local union President, and now works as a part time consultant for the equalities Charity Persona Doll Training.

As well as songs and albums, Robb has written songbooks, edited a book of stories “Journeys Down Denbigh Road” for use with young children in school assemblies, edited” A Navigator’s Tale”, a book collecting his father’s WW2 memoir and poetry, and contributed regularly to the music magazine RNR.

Robb was born in 1955, studied English Lit at Sussex University, trained as a teacher then did an MA in English Literature at Manchester University. Otherwise he spent the first 50 years of his life in West London, in Hounslow and Southall, before moving to Hove at the start of 2006. He still supports Brentford FC however. He has been married to Meeta for 27 years. They have 2 sons, Hari and Arvin, and a cat called Ginger.

A Reasonable History of Impossible Demands: The Damage to Date 1986-2013
No Gods No Masters: Live in Concert
The Liberty Tree: A Celebration of the Life and Writings of Thomas Paine
The People’s Republic of Neverland: The Child versus the State
The People’s Republic of Neverland: The Child versus the State

The People’s Republic of Neverland: The Child versus the State

SKU: 9781629637952
Published: 5/1/2020
Format: Paperback
Size: 5 x 8
Page count: 288
Subjects: Education/Philosophy, Theory
Author: Robb Johnson
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629637952

Praise

“I have rarely seen a manuscript that is so embedded in what education is for and then direct the reader to how to pursue the goals, in practice and at all levels of school infrastructure so that the way schools are structured adds to the goodness of society.”
—Marcelo Staricoff, author of Start Thinking, fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching, and former headteacher

The People’s Republic of Neverland: State Education vs. the Child by Robb Johnson shows the stark reality of the current situation for education. Education is at a crossroads, and this book comes at an important time raising awareness and exposing the flaws in our current system. Read this, and then join the campaign to fight for a fairer, fully funded, comprehensive education system!”
—Louise Regan, Ex-President of National Education Union

“The goals of the school systems in most countries have generally not had nothing to do with producing happy, creative, self-confident, autonomous children who will grow up to become happy, creative, self-confident, autonomous adults. But since schooling become mandatory in industrialized societies like the UK and the U.S., the schools have been an ideological battleground between those who want to produce obedient workers and soldiers, and those, like Robb Johnson, who would prefer to see a liberated humanity consisting of whole people, who are treated as such from birth, by their parents, by the schools, and all other social, political, and economic institutions. This book is a brilliant crash course in the roots of the problem, the devastation that has been done since the post-Thatcher/post-Reagan austerity budgets and a return to Victorian (“family”) values, and how we might address all of these complex challenges. And it is as captivating a read as any good memoir, because that’s exactly what it is. Robb Johnson lived through, and taught through, the backlash, working as a school teacher from 1980 until very recently.”
—David Rovics, musician and author of Sing for Your Supper: A DIY Guide to Playing Music, Writing Songs, and Booking Your Own Gigs



A Reasonable History of Impossible Demands: The Damage to Date 1986-2013

A Reasonable History of Impossible Demands: The Damage to Date 1986-2013

SKU: 9781629632209
Artist: Robb Johnson
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629632209
UPC: 877746007620
Published: 1/2016
Format: 5x Audio CD and book
Size: 5.5 x 5.5
CD length and Page count: 390 minutes and 64 pages
Subjects: Music-Folk

Praise

“An English original.”
Guardian (UK)

“One of Britain’s most challenging songwriters.”
Daily Telegraph

“A creator of some of the most potent songs of the last decade.”
fRoots

“Britain’s finest songwriter since Richard Thompson.”
Venue

“His songs are incisive and clever and witty and you can sing them on your way to work.”
—Boff Whalley, Chumbawamba



No Gods No Masters: Live in Concert

No Gods No Masters: Live in Concert (DVD)

SKU: 9781604864410
Artists: Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781604864410
Published: 1/2014
Format: 2 x DVDs (NTSC)
Size: 5.5 x 7.5
Length: 250 minutes
Subjects: Music-Folk

Praise

“. . . some of the most literate and well-made topical songs now being written“
The New York Times [on Leon Rosselson]

“Britain’s finest songwriter since Richard Thompson.“
Venue [on Robb Johnson]

“A highly subversive pairing of two of the left’s most eloquent songwriters.“
Daily Telegraph



The Liberty Tree: A Celebration of the Life and Writings of Thomas Paine

The Liberty Tree: A Celebration of the Life and Writings of Thomas Paine

SKU: 9781604863390
Artists: Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781604863390
Published: 5/2010
Format: Double Audio CD with Booklet
Size: 5 x 5
Subjects: Music-Folk, History

Praise

“A highly subversive pairing of two of the left’s most eloquent songwriters.”
The Daily Telegraph

“Rosselson’s songs are teeming with colorful characters, wonderfully descriptive passages and witty observations.”
Washington Post

“Robb Johnson is Britain’s finest songwriter since Richard Thompson”
Venue


Book Events

december, 2020

No Events


Reviews


Interviews


Mentions


Blog