Save for founder Berry Gordy, no single figure has been more closely allied with the Detroit-based recording empire known as Motown than William “Smokey” Robinson (vocals; born February 19, 1940). In addition to leading the Miracles -- Warren “Pete” Moore (vocals; b. November 19, 1939), Claudette Rogers Robinson (vocals; b. June 20, 1942), Bobby Rogers (vocals; February 19, 1940 - March 3, 2013), Marv Tarplin (guitar; June 13, 1941 - September 30, 2011), Ronnie White (vocals; April 15, 1939 - August 26, 1995) -- Robinson served as a Motown producer, songwriter, talent scout, and Gordy’s most trusted confidant and right-hand man. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles scored 27 pop-soul hits at Motown between 1960 and 1971, including the classics “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Mickey’s Monkey,” “Going to a Go-Go,” and “I Second That Emotion.” They also explored the sweeter side of soul with a string of exquisite ballads sung by Robinson in a satiny falsetto. The Miracles’ brightest moments on record -- “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” and “The Tears of a Clown” foremost among them -- still kindle memories for those who came of age in the 1960s.
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