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smokey robinson

Smokey Robinson

b. William Robinson Jnr., 19th February 1940, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

The Miracles

Smokey Robinson is a Soul singer and songwriter, record producer, and former record executive.

He is associated with Motown Records, second only to the company's founder, Berry Gordy Jnr.

Smokey Robinson

with esther gordy edwards

As both a member of Motown group The Miracles and a solo artist, Smokey recorded thirty-seven Top 40 hits for Motown between 1960 and 1987, and also served as the company's vice president from 1961 to 1988.

Further information regarding Smokey's Motown career can be obtained by going to the Miracles link above. This section deals, largely, with Smokey's solo career.

During the late Sixties, business concerns were occupying an increasing proportion of Smokey's time at Motown Records, and in 1971 he announced that he would be leaving the Miracles the following year, to concentrate on his role as Vice-President of the Motown corporation.

Carter Barron Amphitheater

Carter Barron Amphitheater in Washington D.C.

On 16th of July 1972, Smokey and Claudette Robinson gave their final performances as Miracles at the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Washington D.C., and Smokey introduced the group's new lead singer, Billy Griffin.

SmokeyPure Smokey

smokey (1973) / pure smokey (1974)

A year after the split, Smokey launched his solo career, enjoying a hit single with 'Sweet Harmony', an affectionate tribute to his former group, and issuing the excellent 'Smokey'.

The album included the song 'Just My Soul Responding', a piece of social comment regarding the U.S.A.'s treatment of Blacks and American Indians.

Smokey maintained a regular release schedule through the mid-70's, with one new album arriving every year.

A Quiet StormBig Time

a quiet storm (1975) / big time (1977)

He continued to break new songwriting ground and describing a new genre to a new style of soft soul on 1975's 'A Quiet Storm'.

Singles such as 'Baby That's Backatcha' and 'The Agony And The Ecstasy' sold well on the black market.

His first film soundtrack project, 'Big Time', in 1977, was played extensively on the U.K., Soul radio shows.

Love BreezeWhere There's Smoke

love breeze (1978) / where there's smoke (1979)

Smokey returned in 1979 with 'Cruisin', his biggest chart success since 'The Tears Of A Clown' nine years earlier.

The parent album 'Where There's Smoke', and the follow up set 'Warm Thoughts', both featured original Stevie Wonder compositions, namely 'I Love The Nearness Of You' and 'Melody Man' respectively.

Two years later, he gained his first U.K. number 1 with 'Being With You', a love song that came close to equalling that achievement in the U.S.A.

Warm ThoughtsYes, It's You Lady

warm thoughts (1980) / yes, it's you lady (1982)

'Yes, It's You Lady' was released in 1982 and featured the R & B hit 'Tell Me Tomorrow'.

By this time Smokey had settled into another relaxed release schedule that saw him through the 80's on a series of regular small hits and consistent album sales.

Smokey was contributing significantly less new material, however, and his 1988 autobiography, 'Smokey', revealed that he had been battling against cocaine addiction for much of the decade.

One HeartbeatIntimate

one heartbeat (1987) / intimate (1999)

Although his marriage to Claudette failed, he returned to full health and creativity, and enjoyed two big hits in 1987, 'Just To See Her' and 'One Heartbeat'.

He returned to recording in 1999 releasing the Berry Gordy produced 'Intimacy' for the Motown Records imprint.

This album contains, probably, one of his finest moments, namely, 'Easy To Love'. An undiscovered gem.

Since then, Smokey has continued to periodically perform and tour.

Food For The SpiritTimeless Love

food for the spirit (2004) / timeless love (2006)

He issued a gospel LP, 'Food for the Spirit' in 2004 for the Liquid 8 imprint.

A new album of pop standards from the early 20th century, 'Timeless Love', was released in June 2006.

The album was originally recorded with a jazz combo, but strings were added after the tracks were laid down, giving the album more of a lush sound without removing much of the jazz feeling of the disc.

Time Flies

time flies when you're having fun (2009)

'Time Flies When You're Having Fun' was released in 2009, on Robso Records, and featured India Arie, Carlos Santana, and Joss Stone.

Smokey Robinson is the spokesman of the Great American Smokeout, which takes place annually one week before Thanksgiving.

This is a day when smokers quit smoking for at least a day.

Voted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988, Smokey Robinson is now one of the elder statesmen of popular music.

He is a writer and producer probably still best remembered for his outstanding work in the Sixties, however, he has faithfully followed his Real Soul roots since the outset of becoming an evergreen songwriter and performer.

Smokey Robinson

smokey in 2006


Real Player


Smokey (Tamla Records 1973)

Pure Smokey (Tamla Records 1974)

A Quiet Storm (Tamla Records 1975)

Smokey's Family Robinson (Tamla Records 1976)

Deep In My Soul (Tamla Records 1977)

Big Time (Tamla Records 1977)

Love Breeze (Tamla Records 1978)

Smokin' (Tamla Records 1978)

Where There's Smoke (Tamla Records 1979)

Warm Thoughts (Tamla Records 1980)

Being With You (Tamla Records 1981)

Yes It's You Lady (Tamla Records 1982)

Touch The Sky (Tamla Records 1983)

Blame It On Love (Tamla Records 1983)

Essar (Tamla Records 1984)

Smoke Signals (Tamla Records 1985)

One Heartbeat (Motown Records 1987)

Love, Smokey (Motown Records 1990)

Double Good Everything (SBK Records 1991)

Intimate (Motown Records 1999)

Food for the Spirit (Liquid 8 Records 2004)

Timeless Love (New Doors Records 2006)

Time Flies When You're Having Fun (Robso Records 2009)

Smokey and Friends (Verve Records 2014)

Gasms (TLR Records 2023)

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