Hello,  Smokey Robinson and The Miracles are one of the biggest groups of the 1960s and with Smokey singing lead the group charted 42 Billboard Hot 100 hits and 39 Billboard R&B hits between 1959 and 1972.  When Smokey Robinson left for a solo career in 1973 the lead vocals were taken over by Billy Griffin.  With him on lead The Miracles charted 4 Hot 100 hits and 9 R&B hits between 1973 and 1978.

The Miracles are from Detroit, Michigan.  The line-up included…Smokey Robinson on lead, Claudette Rogers, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White and Warren Moore.  Claudette Rogers retired in 1964, she was married to Smokey Robinson from 1958-1986.  Smokey wrote many of the groups hits and wrote hits for other Motown artists.

In October of 1959 The Miracles charted their first record, a minor hit on the Billboard Hot 100…BAD GIRL  on the Chess Records label.  The single made it to #92 and was on the chart for 2 weeks.  In 1960 The Miracles were on Berry Gordy’s, Motown Records.  The label was young and so was a 20-year-old Smokey Robinson.  On December 12, 1960 a new single by The Miracles made its debut on the Billboard R&B chart.  The single, SHOP AROUND  credited as “The Miracles featuring Bill “Smokey’ Robinson” on Tamla Records (part of the Motown group)…made its way up the R&B chart, all the way to #1 where it had an 8 week stay and remained on the R&B chart for 16 weeks.  Also, on December 12, 1960 the single charted on the pop, Billboard Hot 100 chart where it became a #2 hit record and remained on the chart for 16 weeks.  This was a huge record for the Motown label as the single also reached #1 on the Cashbox magazine Top 100 pop chart.

SHOP AROUND  became Motown Records first #1 hit record on the Billboard R&B singles chart.  It also became the first million-selling record for The Miracles…and…for the Motown Record Corporation.  It is also the first Motown Records song to reach the Top 5 on the Hot 100.  SHOP AROUND  was written by Smokey Robinson and originally released in the Detroit area.  The original recording had a strong blues influence.  Gordy decided that the song needed to be re-recorded, with a more up-beat sound that would sell commercially…he was right…the re-recorded version credits both Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy as writers.

The flip side of the single is  WHO’S LOVIN’ YOU  a bluesy tune sung to perfection by Smokey.  Although the single did not chart, it has become a classic Motown tune, for the many covers of the tune…including one by The Jackson 5 in 1969.  This of course was just the beginning of a fabulous career for Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and Motown Records.  SHOP AROUND  is a 2006 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.  This wonderful recording is a favorite on oldies radio and lives with the classic hits of the 50s and 60s in the ‘GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.


Shop Around – 1960

 Who’s Lovin’ You – 1960 Flip side of “Shop Around”

Till the next time—Joe



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