Monday, May 4, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Smokey Robinson, still writing, duets with friends

By
August 20, 2014 |

LOS ANGELES — After five decades in show business, the man who shaped Motown with instantly recognizable hits like “My Girl” and “Tears of a Clown” says he can’t stop writing.

Smokey Robinson says he scribbles down lyrics on a pad or leaves a fragment of a tune on his own voice mail whenever inspiration hits.

“I write on the plane, on the bus, on the train, I write in the bathroom,” Robinson said in an interview. “I do have a bunch of songs that I’m very anxious to record.”

But you won’t hear any of that material on his latest album, “Smokey & Friends,” out Tuesday. The collection ofRobinson tunes pairs the legendary singer-songwriter with Elton John, Mary J. Blige, James Taylor, CeeLo Green, Miguel, Steven Tyler and more.

Robinson, who is on a U.S. tour, talked to The Associated Press about his duets collaborators and his love of being on the road.

GETTING A HOLD OF FRIENDS

On “Smokey & Friends,” Robinson sang “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” in-studio with longtime friend Steven Tyler, while the other tracks were pieced together electronically from separate recording sessions.

Each collaborator picked a favorite song written by Robinson. Elton John, a Robinson friend for three decades, chose “The Tracks of My Tears,” first recorded by the Miracles in 1965.

“When we’re around each other, we have a great time. Neither one of us is from affluency,” Robinson said of John. “So when you come up like that and your dream is to be in show business or to sing or play and you get the chance to really do it and earn your living, and it’s your life — it’s a wonderful thing.”

BACK INTO THE STORM

Robinson heard John Legend cover his song “Quiet Storm” in concert and told the 35-year-old soul crooner backstage that he should record a version of it.

“I look at people like John and I know that the future of show business is in good hands,” Robinson said. The two join up on a new version of the tune, which in 1975 marked Robinson’s return to the industry after a brief hiatus.

“I’m very close to that song,” he said. “It became a radio format and there are ‘quiet storm’ stations all over the country now.”

MARY’S METAMORPHOSIS

Robinson says he’s been watching and listening to Mary J. Blige since she debuted in 1992 as the “queen of hip-hop soul.”

“Mary has done a metamorphosis from when I first met her,” he said. “She came from having the image of the hip-hop world into what she has now. And that’s a whole other vision of her. … She’s very spiritual. And she’s one of the greatest singers ever.”

On the duets album, Blige sings “Being With You,” first recorded by Robinson in 1981 on his solo album of the same name.

GENERATIONS OF SMOKEY FANS

Robinson, 74, has been performing for over five decades and won’t be stopping anytime soon. He gets a spark of energy from seeing parents in the audience holding infants.

“The first time I saw those people, they were on their parents’ laps. There’s everybody there from 6 months to 100, and they’re of all races,” he said. “I’m not going to get that anywhere else. I’m not going to get that same feeling, that same vibe, that same energy, anywhere else.”

There’s no after-party after each two-hour show nowadays, though.

“That was the party for me. I’m going to my hotel now. I’m going to watch some TV until I wind down and go to sleep. But it is a party,” he said. “That’s why I still do it.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    New Torah being written for Solano County Jews

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    May the 4th be with you . . . and me

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

     
    Tickets available for Dixon May Fair, sneak peek

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Local governments set to meet

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Napa Valley College site of Girls on the Run event

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Council plans bat outing

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Vacaville centers hosts holiday-related events

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Vacaville Museum celebrates historic pioneer girl

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Chambers of commerce plan Cinco de Mayo event

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Fairfield police log: May 2, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: May 2, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: May 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Fairfield police log: May 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Biz Buzz: First Northern Bank announces earnings

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

     
    Weather for Monday, May 4, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

    Biz Buzz: Sleep Train continues clothing drive

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Biz Buzz: Solano College site of business expo

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Touching, funny, messages in obits getting wide audience

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Google embeds engineers as professors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Oyez! Town crier at royal baby birth captures attention

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Quakes hit California, but no damage or injuries reported

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    In Congress, income inequality comes with breakfast, lunch

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Slain trooper’s parents say they forgive suspected ambusher

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Baltimore mayor lifts curfew 6 days after riots

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Merkel joins survivors, US vets to mark Dachau liberation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Italy: At least 10 migrants found dead in sea off Libya

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Arab coalition ‘reconnaissance’ troops land in Yemen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Nepal shuts airport to big jets; more bodies found

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    With rescue near, Boko Haram stoned Nigerian girls to death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Survey: States spent heavily to clear winter snow and ice

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    City: 2 gunmen killed outside Muhammad cartoon contest

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Living

    Catholics honor mother of church with special event

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Today in history: Monday, May 4, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Community Calendar: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Returning home puts far-flung choices in relief

    By Sharon Randall | From Page: B5

    Family member has still not paid for commissioned artwork

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

     
    Horoscope: May 4, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Wanted by the US, Roman Polanski gets film award in Poland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Ashes of ballerina Plisetskaya to be spread over Russia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    New project in US South promotes music “triangle”

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    ‘Avengers’ sequel is second biggest US opener of all time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    TVGrid May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    JC softball: Solano eliminated after late rally comes up short

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    AP Source: Warriors star Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruises to 1st Talladega win since 2004

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    McIlroy top of the world at Match Play Championship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Warriors roll past Grizzlies 101-86 in Game 1 of West semis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    LeBron, Cavs ready to take on raging Bulls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Paul questionable as Clippers and Rockets begin series

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    James Taylor debuts new song about Fenway, at Fenway

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Westbrook, Valiante win IMSA Tudor race at Monterey

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Inbee Park wins North Texas Shootout for 2nd time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Ian Woosnam wins Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Royals’ Lorenzo Cain drops appeal, begins serving suspension

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Unusually wild Gray, Vogt HRs carry A’s past Rangers 7-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Texas the front line on high school ECG debate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Giants beat Angels 5-0 behind Lincecum for 3-game sweep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Mayweather takes his $100 million check and runs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Vonn says relationship with Woods is over

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    5-year drought ends as Chelsea is champion of England again

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Montoya fastest on opening day of Indy tests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    This date in sports history for May 4

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Beal leads well-rested Wizards past Hawks 104-98 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Cable, pay-per-view problems leave viewers fighting mad

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Arthur Martin

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Ora May Bray

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A4

    Lois G. Johnston (Leib) (Bayard)

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Get Fuzzy May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Garfield May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baldo May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Blondie May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Peanuts May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Frank and Ernest May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Dilbert May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Wizard of Id May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Rose is Rose May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Zits May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    For Better or Worse May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    B.C. May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sally Forth May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Word Sleuth May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Bridge May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Cryptoquote May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Crossword May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baldo May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Wizard of Id May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Beetle Bailey May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Baby Blues May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Pickles May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    For Better or Worse May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Get Fuzzy May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Dilbert May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Rose is Rose May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Zits May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Garfield May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    B.C. May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Peanuts May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Sally Forth May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Frank and Ernest May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Blondie May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Bridge May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Word Sleuth May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Crossword May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Sudoku May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Cryptoquote May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7