William “Smokey” Robinson Jr. was born on February 19th in the North End neighborhood of Detroit,Michigan. His uncle Claude gave him the nickname of “Smokey Joe”. It derived from ”smokey,” a pejorative term for dark-skinned blacks. ”I’m doing this,” his uncle told the light-skinned boy, ”so you won’t ever forget that you’re black.”1
In the early 50’s,he formed a doo-wop group with high school friends called the Matadors. They later became known as the Miracles.After a chance meeting with record producer Berry Gordy Jr.,they were signed with record label Motown and the rest is history. Their first single, “Shop Around”(1960) became a big hit followed by”You Really Got A Hold On Me””Ooh,Baby,Baby” and “I Second That Emotion” .He also became a producer and songwriter for many of Motown’s acts.He Became vice-president of Motown from 1961-1988. In 1972, he left The Miracles and went on to find success as a solo act.
Smokey was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987. He continues to perform all over the world and release new music. He and Berry Gordy have remained life-long friends.
Why I love Smokey Robinson:
Gotta love that smooth voice of his! And of course all those wonderfully romantic songs of his. No matter which song it is, a part of you wishes you were the girl he was singing about. Not to mention his good looks and very pretty eyes.
He,with the Miracles and as a solo artist, had so many hits. He also wrote and produced tons of Motown’s biggest successful records. I feel he was a huge and instrumental figure into making Motown into the history maker that it is. Dare I say? I don’t think Motown would be the same Motown we know and love if it weren’t for Smokey Robinson.
Smokey Robinson. A true and hard-working musician,writer and producer who’s still going at it and not resting on his laurels. What’s not to love about him?