In 1958, Robinson Then Lead Singer Of The Matadors (The Group Would Eventually Change Its Name To The Miracles), Met Songwriter, Barry Gordy, Who Co-Wrote For Them The Single, "Got A Job," An Answer Song To The Silhouettes' Hit Single "Get a Job." Robinson Suggested That Gordy Start His Own Record Label And The Two Of Them Became The Key Figures In The Establishment Of Motown Records.
As Both A Member Of The Miracles And A Solo Artist, Robinson Recorded 37 Top 40 Hits for Motown Between 1960 and 1987, And Also Served As The Company's Vice President from 1961 to 1988. The 1960 Single, "Shop Around" Was Motown's First Number One Hit On The R&B Singles Chart, And The First Big Hit For The Miracles.The Song Was Also Motown's First Million-Selling Hit Single.
Robinson Would Go On To Write More Hit Records For The Miracles And Other Motown Artists During The Next Several Decades. Some Of These Include: "You've Really Got A Hold On Me," "Ooo Baby Baby," "The Tracks Of My Tears," "I Second That Emotion," "Going To A Go-Go," "Baby Baby Don't Cry," "The Tears Of A Clown," "My Guy" By Mary Wells, "My Girl," "The Way You Do The Things You Do," "Since I Lost My Baby," "Get Ready" By The Temptations, "Who's Loving You" By The Jackson 5, "I'll Be Doggone," "Ain't That Peculiar" By Marvin Gaye, "Still Water (Love)" By The Four Tops, And "Don't Mess With Bill" By The Marvelettes.
During The 1970's And 1980's Smokey Robinson Established A Successful Solo Career. His 1976 Single "Quiet Storm" And Its Accompanying Album Spawned A Genre Of Smooth, Slow R&B That Inspired TV-One's Cathy Hughes And Others, To Create Late Night Radio Shows Called The "Quiet Storm," Which Are Still Part Of Radio Formats Throughout Country.
Robinson's Solo Hits Include "Baby Come Close" (1973), "Cruisin'" (1979), "Being With You" (1981), "Tell Me Tomorrow" (1982), "Ebony Eyes" (A 1983 Duet With Deceased Labelmate, Rick James), "Just To See Her" ( 1987) And "One Heartbeat" (1987).
Smokey Robinson Continues To Be One Of The Most Respected And Influential Forces In Music. Over The Course Of His 50-year Career In Music, Robinson Has Over 4,000 Songs To His Credit. Singer Bob Dylan Referred To Him As One Of His Favorite Poets. John Lennon Of The Beatles, In a 1969 Interview, Stated That Robinson Had Influenced His Music And George Harrison, Another Beatles Member, Also Greatly Admired Robinson And Paid Tribute To Him In His 1976 Song "Pure Smokey."
In 1999, Smokey Robinson Received The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He Was Inducted Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame In 1988. Most Recently, He Performed At A White House Event, Hosted By President And Mrs. Obama, Celebrating The Music Of The Civil Rights Movement.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.