Before Detroit was heavy with techno beats, it was rich with Motown's rhythm, blues, and soul.
Smokey Robinson started singing with the label, heading up the Miracles, with a voice as smooth as melted buttah and those sparking light eyes. Detroit in the 1960s was the milky way of music. Robinson grew up with Aretha Franklin, the Four Tops, and the Temptations right around the corner. Diana Ross was even his next-door neighbor at some point.
Before becoming VP of the label, he wrote 37 of Motown's top 40 hits between 1967 and 1988. With his masculine yet angelic songs, he sang the poetry of Pagliacci, seconded that emotion, and got a real tight hold on our lovin' ears.
Robinson seduces an invisible paramour with the words "Let the music take your mind," in "Cruisin'." And, taking his own advice, Robinson didn't let drugs or drama take his mind entirely. The music had it the whole time.
Now, at 72, the man has his own gumbo company (the Soul is in the Bowl) and is touring, bringing the precious pipes that inspired George Harrison to pen him a song to Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. Legends like Smokey don't come along very often, and this is your chance to cruise with a real crooner.
Smokey Robinson. 7 p.m. Saturday, January 12, at Hard Rock Live Hollywood, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $49 to $79 plus fees. Call 954-797-5531, or visit hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com.
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