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!