Friday, May 24, 2024

Smokey Robinson, Motown’s Great Songwriter, to Receive Gershwin Prize


Smokey Robinson will receive the Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress this November. He joins Paul McCartney, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Willie Nelson and his Motown compadre Stevie Wonder.

Smokey wrote what is undeniably Motown’s anthem, “My Girl,” for the Temptations. His huge catalog of songs for his own group, the Miracles, for himself, for the Temps and all the other Motown groups is staggering. It’s everything from “Tracks of My Tears” to “Shop Around” to “Cruisin'” and “Tears of a Clown.” Without Smokey there would have been no Motown. A whole radio format is named for his song “Quiet Storm.” He wrote “Beaten to the Punch” and “Two Lovers” for Mary Wells, and countless hits for Marvin Faye including “Ain’t that Peculiar.”

No one deserves the Gershwin prize more than Smokey, that’s for sure. Congrats!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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