Monday, October 20, 2014
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

.

Solano News

Girl Scouts explore sweet side of chemistry

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Local governments schedule meetings

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Marine accused in Philippine killing tests US ties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

Suisun mayor offers his endorsements

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Which candidates support Alzheimer’s cure?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Beware a Trojan horse

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Pulse poll question

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

.

Living

.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Palmer leads Cardinals past Raiders 24-13

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Manning breaks Favre’s TD mark in 42-17

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Tim Lincecum waits his turn, still yet to pitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Keselowski keeps title hopes alive at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

NFL roundup: Jaguars bounce Browns, gets first win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
SEC is 1st conference to put 4 in top 5 of AP poll

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ski champ Svindal injured while playing soccer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Serena Williams hits back at Russian official

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kings pick up G Ben McLemore’s option

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rockets beat Warriors 90-83 in exhibition game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pacquiao makes professional basketball debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal receiver Trevor Davis released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sounders rally for 2-2 tie with LA Galaxy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rangers net 2 in 4 seconds; Lundqvist stops Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Royals dependent on 3-headed bullpen monster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Hend wins Hong Kong Open in a playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Baek wins playoff to take LPGA South Korea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Ilonen beats Stenson in World Match Play final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Jay Haas wins Greater Hickory Kia Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Ben Martin wins 1st PGA Tour title in Las Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Denkinger’s miss revisited as Series returns to KC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Facebook, Apple pay for egg freezing, sperm donors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield October 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sally Forth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7