William "Smokey" Robinson Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former record executive. Robinson was the founder and frontman of the Motown vocal group the Miracles, for which he was also chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as "the Five Chimes" until 1972 when he announced a retirement from the group to focus on his role as Motown's vice president.
Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Smokey Robinson talks about his Motown legacy and his string of timeless hits, including “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “My Guy,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “Cruisin’,” and more! PART ONE Scott and Paul chat about Pearl Snap Studios and share the behind-the-scenes details of how the Smokey interview came about. PART TWO -  8:07 mark Scott and Paul sit down with Smokey to get the inside scoop on the first song he ever wrote; how his love of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers gave him his identity; the songwriting advice from Berry Gordy that changed his life; which song he calls his international songwriting anthem; the collaborator he referred to as his "music mountain;" the hit he wrote onstage; the tragic story behind his most personal song; the artists he had in mind when he wrote "Shop Around" and "Being with You;" which of his hits took less than 30 minutes to write - and which one took five years! ABOUT SMOKEY ROBINSON Ranked in the Top 5 of Rolling Stone magazine’s Greatest Songwriters of All Time, Smokey Robinson is an American Musical Icon. Practically synonymous with the legendary Motown Records, Robinson wrote most of the hits associated with his own group, The Miracles, including “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Baby, Baby Don’t Cry,” and “The Tears of a Clown.” Beyond writing for himself, Smokey penned a long list of hits for other Motown artists, including “You Beat Me to the Punch” and “My Guy” for Mary Wells; “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “My Girl,” and “Get Ready” for The Temptations, “Don’t Mess with Bill” and “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game” for The Marvelettes; and “I’ll Be Doggone” and “Ain’t That Peculiar” for Marvin Gaye. In later years, Smokey launched a successful solo career, scoring self-penned hits with “Baby That’s Backatcha,” “Quiet Storm,” “Cruisin’,” and “Being With You.” The Grammy-winning songwriter, producer, and performer was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is a National Medal of Arts Recipient and a Kennedy Center Honoree. Smokey has additionally been honored with the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the Soul Train Heritage Award, the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and countless other honors. Five of his songs are on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s list of 500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll, and five have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Four of his compositions can be found among Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The long list of other artists who’ve drawn from the Smokey Robinson songbook includes The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, George Benson, D’Angelo , Ne-Yo, and more.
With dozens of Top 40 hits, more than 4,000 songs to his credit and more than six decades in the business, Smokey Robinson reflects on his legendary career. Smokey is known as the “King of Motown,” responsible for such hits as "Tracks of My Tears," "I Second That Emotion," and the Temptations’ unforgettable smash, "My Girl." Born and raised in Detroit,Smokey was childhood friends with both Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, who grew up down the street. "The Temptations and The Four Tops and all those people were growing up in my immediate neighborhood,” he says. “I can't answer why there was so many of us in that same neighborhood, but it was happening all over Detroit.” When Smokey was 40 years old, he became addicted to drugs. "I went on a hell of a drug trip and it was horrendous,” he says. Smokey shares how he eventually overcame his addiction and explains why he believes love is the most powerful emotion we can experience.
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Creator Details

Feb 19th, 1940
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 hour, 41 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 994312