RIP: CBS Canada’s John (Jack) Robertson
To all who knew him, he was ‘Jack’ but he was born John Harry Robertson, and he served under at least three presidents of what was then known as CBS Records Canada.
By David Farrell
To all who knew him, he was ‘Jack’ but he was born John Harry Robertson, and he served under at least three presidents of what was then known as CBS Records Canada. With little fanfare, the man who forever had a smile, a twinkle in his eyes and nothing but kindness to say to about the people around him, passed away on Oct. 11, according to a death notice that appeared in the Toronto Star. No age is given.
According to the notice, he served in the British Air Force and was a talented pro footballer in his native Scotland. He shone on the stage with the local Glasgow players and eventually immigrated to Canada with his little sister, Maureen, in 1956. It was in Toronto that he met the love of his life, Rosemary, and they married in 1959. Two children and one dog later, Jack thrived as a music man, serving under a succession of presidents as the company’s senior VP executive at CBS Records/SONY Music until his retirement in 1992.
Details about his career are sketchy, but he was a gentleman in every respect, and his demeanour at all times was always uplifting. His kindness exuded from his eyes, and many at the company have expressed their appreciation for him at reunions over the years. He was never one to grandstand, but his legacy lives on as being a decent human being who helped many and lifted spirits whether they were up or down.
Fellow Sr. VP Don Oates at the time posted on Facebook:
“Sad news...just learned through the CBS grapevine that Jack Robertson passed away on October 11th...Jack was personally responsible for a number of my early promotions...he took me out of Royalties, into Special Products and then into Sales & Marketing...I never applied for any of these positions as Jack just believed that I was well suited for each...he was my mentor and, like me, was the #2 executive for many years...JR was a truly great & caring man...here's a photo of him presenting me with a special "Star is Born" gold album commemorating the birth of our son Bobby Oates in 1977...Bobby hangs it proudly in his Whitby home...RIP Jack.”