Motown’s Smokey Robinson going sturdy: ‘I need to be Beethoven’


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At 82, Smokey Robinson is a miracle.

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The Motown singer and prolific songwriter — who as soon as fronted Smokey Robinson and the Miracles — continues to be going sturdy regardless of a current bout with COVID-19 in 2020.

“I used to be very sick — I used to be within the hospital for 11 days with it — however I got here by way of,” Robinson mentioned down the road from his L.A. house.

The Detroit-born songwriter behind such classics as Store Round — Motown’s first million-selling hit file — You’ve Actually Acquired a Maintain on Me, I Second That Emotion, The Tears of a Clown and The Tracks of My Tears, says the important thing to staying wholesome is when you’ve turned 40, your part-time job is taking care of your self.

“I really feel nearly as good if not higher than I did once I was 50 as a result of I’ve all the time tried to care for myself,” added Robinson.

“I work out on a regular basis, nearly. I’ve been doing yoga for 40 years. And age is only a quantity.”

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Subsequent up for Robinson, who began doing exhibits once more in December 2021, would be the thirty fifth version of the TD Toronto Jazz Fest on June 28 at Meridian Corridor.

“Toronto is one among my favorite locations,” mentioned the Rock and Roll Corridor of Famer. “I’ve simply been coming to Toronto all my life. I grew up in Detroit. And I used to be proper throughout the bridge or below the tunnel to Windsor. I like Toronto. Toronto’s stunning.”

Robinson, who calls his songwriting “a present from God,” mentioned he might have by no means anticipated his profession would have such longevity.

“I do know once I was a child, I used to look at each present that got here on TV that had something in any respect to do with music. So I’d watch like Ed Sullivan and all the blokes from the Rat Pack, they usually’d be like, ‘Man, you realize, we’ve been doing this for 25 years.’ And I’d assume to myself, ‘How might anyone be probably doing this for 25 years?’ So I’ve been doing this now for 65 years.”

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Robinson mentioned his first tune got here to him when he was simply six years previous.

“I wrote it for a play I did in elementary college,” recalled Robinson. “My instructor was enjoying a bit melody on the piano to open the play and shut the play, and I requested her if I might write some phrases for it.”

He mentioned his first substantial tune was Acquired A Job — his reply to the Silhouettes’ hit Get A Job.  It was  launched with the assistance of songwriter Berry Gordy, who discovered Tamla Data the identical yr in 1958, which later turned Motown Data in 1960.

As for what he thinks of people that have coated his songs over time?

“I need to be Beethoven. So if individuals file my songs, I like it.”

He’s additionally been the topic of tributes like George Harrison’s 1975 tune Pure Smokey and ABC’s 1987 hit, When Smokey Sings.

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“I knew George properly,” he mentioned. “George was my favorite man within the Beatles. He was my man. ABC, I used to be in Belgium, and I used to be doing a TV present, and I didn’t know ABC was going to be on that present, they usually didn’t know I used to be going to be on that present. So the producer launched us. They had been fantastic.”

Oliver Stone additionally used The Tracks of My Tears in a memorable occasion scene in 1986’s Platoon.

“Oliver and I had been actually shut. And Oliver advised me, ‘We used to play Motown music within the foxholes at night time. Simply to maintain ourselves firm.’”

Of the brand new crop of artists, Robinson likes Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Beyonce.

“You’ve received numerous younger individuals on the market making some actually good music,” mentioned Robinson.

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