Sunday, January 10, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-Smokey Robinson

Artist:Smokey Robinson
Song:Being With You
Album:My World: The Definitive Collection

Of course Smokey Robinson is best known for all his 60s hits as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. What you may not know is he wrote and produced a lot of those hits. And he was a vice president at Motown. So when Robinson left The Miracles in 1972, he planned to retire from recording and performing, concentrate on his VP job at Motown and spend more time with his family. It didn't last long. Robinson released his solo debut album Smokey in 1973 followed by Pure Smokey in 1974. The albums did OK but not as well as Robinson would have liked. Baby Come Close from Smokey was the only top ten R & B hit. The 1975 album A Quiet Storm did a lot better as Baby That's Backatcha topped the R & B Singles chart. But subsequent albums didn't do well as Robinson concentrated on his VP job. He got back on track when Cruisin' reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979. The story goes that Robinson liked Kim Carnes' 1980 cover of his classic More Love. He went to see her producer George Tobin to pitch him Being With You. When Tobin heard it, he thought Robinson should record it himself. And Tobin agreed to produce the album. The single reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album was certified Gold. It would turn out to be the biggest hit in Robinson's solo career. The sax solo on Being With You is by Joel Peskin. Tobin produced one more album for Robinson and went on to concentrate on teen pop star Tiffany. Robinson continued to record but cocaine addiction and the 1986 end of his marriage affected him badly. After MCA bought Motown in 1988, Robinson left and he didn't record until he returned to Motown in 1999. He left Motown again in 2005. And after recording on his own label, Robinson is now signed to Verve Records. His 2014 CD Smokey & Friends is duets of classics featuring Elton John, Steven Tyler, John Legend and others. Robinson is touring to support the album. Here's the video for Being With You by Smokey Robinson.

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