PALM DESERT, CA – One of the most beloved and influential figures in the history of popular music, Smokey Robinson is celebrating his 50th anniversary in the music business and the 50th anniversary of Motown Records on Friday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. at the McCallum Theatre.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Smokey founded The Miracles while still in high school. The group was Motown founder’s Berry Gordy’s first vocal signing, creating the Motown Record dynasty. Smokey’s “Shop Around” became Motown’s first #1 hit on the R&B singles chart and in the years following, Robinson continued to pen hits for the group including “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “More Love,” “Tears of a Clown” (co-written with Stevie Wonder), and “I Second That Emotion.”
The Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the 1960’s and early 70’s and Robinson became Vice President of Motown Records, serving as in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter.
Robinson wrote and produced hits for Motown greats including The Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, Marvin Gaye and others. “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “My Girl,” “Get Ready,” “You Beat Me to the Punch,” “Don’t Mess with Bill,” “Ain’t That Peculiar,” and “My Guy” are just a few of his songwriting triumphs during those years.
John Lennon of The Beatles made countless remarks regarding Robinson’s influence on his music. The Beatles had recorded The Miracles’ “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me” in 1963 and in 1982 The Rolling Stones, covered The Miracles’ hit “Going To A Go-Go.”
Robinson later turned to a solo career where he continued his tradition of hit-making with “Just to
See Her,” “Quiet Storm,” “Cruisin’,” and “Being with You,” among others. He remained Vice President of Motown records until the sale of the company, shaping the label’s success with friend and mentor Berry Gordy. Following his tenure at Motown, he continued his impressive touring career and released several successful solo albums.
During the course of his 50-year career in music, Smokey has accumulated more than 4,000 songs to his credit and continues to thrill sold-out audiences around the world with his signature tenor voice, impeccable timing, and profound sense of lyric. Never resting on his laurels, Smokey Robinson remains a beloved icon in our musical heritage.
Smokey has logged an incredible 37 Top 40 hits in his career and was pronounced by Bob Dylan as America’s “greatest living poet.” Acclaimed singer-songwriter Robinson’s career has been honored with numerous awards including the Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Doctorate (Howard University), Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
McCallum Theatre, located at 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert CA 92260, accepts payment by cash, personal check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.