Robin McNamara, Singer-Songwriter Known for ‘Lay a Little Lovin’ on Me,’ Dies at 74

by Kati Kuuseoks

Sad news for Broadway fans today. Singer-Songwriter Robin McNamara has passed away at the age of 74. Whether you recognize him for his work on the Broadway hit “Hair” or his pop hit “Lay a Little Lovin’ on Me,” the entertainment world lost another great. Come with us as we reflect on McNamara’s influence and career.

The news of Robin McNamara’s passing comes in a statement posted to his official website. It reads as follows:

“On October 21, 2021, Robin McNamara gained his angel wings. This gentlest of gentle souls was predeceased by his loving wife, Suzie, who departed the earthly plane on May 16, 2018. Robin and Suzie are now reunited for all eternity. He will be greatly missed, for his talent but especially for his kind and loving spirit.”

Robin McNamara Remembered As a Gentle Soul

From ’69-’71, Robin McNamara replaced Broadway’s original “Hair” star and author, Jim Rado. He took on the role of Claude in the musical that explores the peace and hippie movements of the late ’60s. In addition to the musical, McNamara released his own music, too. Composer/record producer Jeff Barry signed him to his Steed record label after meeting just before McNamara took on the musical role. With the help of his songwriting partner Jim Cretecos, McNamara put out what some might call a “one-hit-wonder.”

At the height of its popularity, his ’70s pop song “Lay a Little Lovin’ on Me” reached number 11 on the charts in both Canada and Australia. You can watch his performance of the hit from 1970 here:

Early Life

Robin McNamara was born in Newton, Massachusetts in May of 1947. By high school, he already had a passion for making music and songwriting. In 10th grade, he decided to gather up his buddies and start their own rock ‘n roll group together. Known as “Robin and the Hoods,” McNamara fronted the group as their lead vocalist. They mostly played gigs in the New England area.

“In tenth grade, a couple of friends of mine played guitar and asked me if I wanted to sing in (a) band,” he once stated in an interview. “It was 1963, and I loved Roy Orbison, so [we did] some of [his] material; we also did a lot of Buddy Holly material.”

Later, Robin relocated to New York City for the Broadway stint mentioned above. His website details his dreams to pursue music full force and make a living out of doing so. Throughout his life, he remained heavily influenced by the works of Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

The obituary note from his team did not disclose his cause or manner of death. Some of his lesser-known works may be accessed here. We send our thoughts to his family and friends.