Music Master Smokey Robinson Has a Hold on Northeast Ohio, This Week
by David C. Barnett
Motown is coming to Northeast Ohio, this week, as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Case Western Reserve University pay tribute to one of the most influential talents to come from the legendary record company --- Smokey Robinson.
The opening notes of the Temptations classic pop hit "My Girl" are very familiar, but you may not know that the song was actually written by William "Smokey" Robinson. Speaking to ideastream in 2011, Robinson said he was just writing for his friends, who happened to live in his very talent-rich neighborhood.
"The Temptations lived right across the street," he recalled. "Aretha Franklin lived right around the corner. Diana Ross grew-up four doors down the street from me. We had a lot of people."
Robinson's talents as a songwriter, singer, producer and record executive will be the focus of the 20th Music Masters symposium --- an annual examination of a performer who helped shape rock and roll history. Veteran music writer Dave Marsh will deliver a keynote speech on Robinson's impact, and the week will culminate with a concert featuring some of his Motown contemporaries, plus some younger performers who were influenced by the smooth soul crooner. And Robinson himself will be there, as well, to accept his award as a Music Master.