Friday, February 19, 2010

Okey Dokey, Smokey

Happy birthday to Smokey Robinson, who was born 70 years ago today in Detroit as William Robinson Jr. Smokey met Berry Gordy in 1958, when he was 18, and the two of them wrote a little song called "Shop Around," which in the fall of 1960 became Motown's first Number One R&B hit and first Top Five pop hit (it peaked at Number Two). The B-side was "Who's Lovin' You," later made famous by the Jackson 5. The following year, at the age of 21, Smokey became Motown's vice-president, a position he held till Berry Gordy sold the company in 1988.

Also born on this date in 1940, in the very same hospital as Smokey Robinson, was future Miracle Bobby Rogers. They didn't meet till they were both 15. Bobby Rogers remains a member of the Miracles to this day, along with his cousin Claudette Robinson, who was married to Smokey from 1959 to 1986.

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