Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Home | Berry Gordy | Harvey Fuqua | The Story of Motown | The Gordy Family | Marvin Gaye | Tammi Terrell | Florence Ballard | Mary Wilson | Stevie Wonder | Mary Wells | David Ruffin | Eddie Kendricks | Martha Reeves and the Vandellas | Smokey Robinson and the Miracles | The Funk Brothers | The Four Tops | The Temptations | The Marvelettes | Motown Songwriters | Motown Articles | Motown Audio Clips | Motown Sound | Motown Appearances | Motown Remembers | Motown Photo Gallery

A Tribute to Motown

Paying Tribute to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

This Biography is based on All Music Guide:
Scoring over 40 hits in the R&B Top 40 charts, The Miracles started out as the Five Chimes in the mid-'50s while the members were still in high school. The Detroit vocal group consisted of William "Smokey" Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore, Clarence "Humble" Dawson, Donald Wicker and James "Rat" Grice. Not too long after the group formed, Wicker and Grice left and were replaced by cousins Emerson "Sonny" Rogers and Bobby Rogers, who both sang tenor and baritonist Ronnie White was in Dawson's place. The vocal quintet then changed their name to the Matadors, and in 1956 Claudette Rogers joined the band after her brother Sonny Rogers was drafted. The Matadors auditioned for Jackie Wilson's manager, Nat Tarnapol, in 1956. Although Tarnapol wasn't interested, finding the group too similar to the Platters, Jackie Wilson's songwriter Berry Gordy, Jr. was, and he soon began producing the band, who now went by the name the Miracles. Gordy produced their first single, "Get a Job," which was issued by the NY label End Records in 1958. After one more release on this label, the Miracles recorded their first song for Gordy's new Motown/Tamla label, 1959's "Bad Girl" (which was issued nationally on the Chess label). Next came the first hit for both the group and the label, 1960's "Shop Around," which reached #1 on the R&B charts and #2 Pop. The next song by the Miracles to hit the #1 R&B spot and reach the Pop Top 10 came two years later with "You've Really Got a Hold on Me." Smokey and Claudette got married in 1963, and she retired from the group a year later. The band's last big hit before they changed their name from the Miracles was "Going To a Go-Go" (1966), which climbed into the Top 5 on the R&B charts, and the Pop Top 20. Later that year, "I'm the One You Need" reached the Top 20. After this, the group's name changed to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and they scored two more #1 songs: "I Second That Emotion" (1967) and "The Tears of a Clown" (1970). Smokey left the group to pursue a solo career in 1972 and 20 year old Billy Griffin was brought in to replace the lead singer. Once again the Miracles, the band scored several more hits, including "Do It Baby" and "Don't Cha Love It," which both reached the R&B Top 10. The Miracles experienced a big success in early '76 with "Love Machine (Part 1)", which reached #1 on the pop charts. The multi-million selling single came off of their second album without Smokey, 1975's City of Angels, and stayed on the charts for over six months, making it the longest-running hit the band ever had. Their final album on the Motown label, Power to the Music, followed. After this, the Miracles added a new member, Billy Griffin's brother Don, and the band switched over to Columbia Records. Their first CBS release was Love Crazy (1977), which contained a single, "Spy for the Brotherhood," that was pulled off the record after complaints from the FBI. The group's last charting single, "Mean Machine," made the R&B Top 100 in 1978. Billy Griffin pursued a solo career, and Warren "Pete" Moore became a record producer in Detroit. In the late '80s, Bobby Rogers started the New Miracles, and in 1990 the Miracles (including Billy Griffin and Claudette Robinson) reunited to re-record "Love Machine" for the UK Motorcity label. Joslyn Layne


1961 Hi, We're the Miracles Motown
1962 I'll Try Something New Motown
1962 Cookin' with the Miracles Motown
1962 Shop Around Motown
1963 The Fabulous Miracles Motown
1963 The Miracles on Stage [live] Motown
1963 Christmas with the Miracles Motown
1963 Doin' Mickey's Monkey Motown
1964 I Like It Like That Motown
1965 Going to a Go-Go Motown
1966 Away We A-Go-Go Motown
1967 Make It Happen Motown
1968 Special Occasion Motown
1969 Time Out for Smokey Robinson & the... Motown
1969 Time Out for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles Motown
1969 Time Out for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles Tamla
1969 Four in Blue Motown
1969 Live! Motown
1970 What Love Has...Joined Together Motown
1970 Season for Miracles Motown
1970 The Tears of a Clown Motown
1970 A Pocket Full of Miracles Tamla
1971 Smokey & the Miracles Motown
1971 From the Beginning Bell
1971 One Dozen Roses Tamla
1972 Flying High Together Tamla
1989 Baby, Baby Don't Cry Motown
1995 Ballads Motown
1999 Our Very Best Christmas Uptown/Univers

1965 Greatest Hits from the Beginning Motown
1965 Greatest Hits from the Beginning Motown
1967 Going to a Go-Go/Tears of a Clown Motown
1968 Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 Motown
1968 Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 Motown
196 Greatest Hits Motown
1972 1957-1972 Motown
1973 Anthology [1973] Motown
1977 Motown Superstar Series, Vol. 18 Motown
1978 Motown Legends [Motown] Motown
1983 Great Songs and Performances Motown
1983 Songs That Inspired the Motown 25th... Motown

Enter supporting content here