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Miracles

Miracles

Male R&B United States.

American vocal group that helped define the Motown sound of the 1960s; led by one of the most gifted, influential singer-songwriters in 20th-century popular music. In addition to Smokey Robinson, byname of William Robinson (b. Feb. 19, 1940, Detroit, Mich., U.S.), the principal members of the group were Warren Moore (b. Nov. 19, 1939, Detroit), Bobby Rogers (b. Feb. 19, 1940, Detroit), Ronnie White (b. April 5, 1939, Detroit), and Claudette Rogers (b. 1942). Whether writing for fellow artists Mary Wells, the Temptations, or Marvin Gaye or performing with the Miracles, singer-lyricist-arranger-producer Robinson created songs that were supremely balanced between the joy and pain of love. At once playful and passionate, Robinson's graceful lyrics led Bob Dylan to call him "America's greatest living poet."

Coming of age in the doo-wop era and deeply influenced by jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan, Robinson formed the Five Chimes with school friends in the mid-1950s. After some personnel changes, the group, as the Matadors, auditioned unsuccessfully for Jackie Wilson's manager; however, they greatly impressed Wilson's songwriter Berry Gordy, who soon became their manager and producer. Most importantly, Gordy became Robinson's mentor, harnessing his prodigious but unformed composing talents, and Robinson, assisted by the Miracles, became Gordy's inspiration for the creation of Motown Records.

With the arrival of Claudette Rogers, the group changed its name to the Miracles and released "Got a Job" on End Records in 1958. The Miracles struggled onstage in their first performance at the Apollo Theatre that year, but good fortune came their way in the form of Marv Tarplin, guitarist for the Primettes, who were led by Robinson's friend Diana Ross. Tarplin became an honorary (but essential) Miracle, while Robinson introduced Gordy to the Primettes, who soon became the Supremes. In 1959 Robinson and Claudette Rogers were married, and "Bad Girl," licensed to Chess Records, peaked nationally at number 93. The fiery "Way Over There" and the shimmering "(You Can) Depend on Me" were followed in 1960 by "Shop Around," the second version of which became an enormous hit, reaching number one on the rhythm-and-blues charts and number two on the pop charts.

While Robinson was writing such vital songs as "My Guy" for Mary Wells, "I'll Be Doggone" for Marvin Gaye, and "My Girl" for the Temptations, he and the Miracles proceeded to record stunning compositions, including "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" (1962), "I'll Try Something New" (1962), "Ooo Baby Baby" (1965), "Choosey Beggar" (1965), "The Tracks of My Tears" (1965), and "More Love" (1967, written following the premature birth and death of Robinson's twin daughters). The Miracles complemented their songs of aching romance and mature love with buoyant numbers such as "Mickey's Monkey" (1963), "Going to a Go-Go" (1965), "I Second That Emotion" (1967), and "The Tears of a Clown" (1970).

Discography

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Miracles : Jingle Bells : 00  1 CD :  : Lif 160114

Miracles : Jingle Bells

Review: In our misspent youth, we happened to be lucky enough to live within radio shot of WORJ (AM) in Detroit, home of Berry Gordy's Motown Records, which was the home of The Miracles. A stream of Miracles hits graced our car radio from 1959 to 1966, such as "Shop Around," "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," "The Tracks of My Tears" and "Going to a Go Go;" and "The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage," "I Second That Emotion" and "The Tears of a Clown" with Smokey Robinson singing lead. Now, with "Jingle Bells," we are given 10 all-accompanied Christmas hits by one of the most influential and popular soul/pop groups of all time! Wonderfully arranged covers of "We Three Kings," "The Little Drummer Boy," "O Holy Night," "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow," "Feliz Navidad," "My Favorite Time of Year," "Silent Night," "Frosty the Snowman," "Finally Christmas" and the title tune. This is a beautifully-recorded album of fun, funky, soulful and danceable Christmas music that will surprise and delight you this Christmas and for many more!

Songlist: We Three Kings, The Little Drummer Boy, O Holy Night, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Feliz Navidad, My Favorite Time of the Year, Silent Night, Frosty the Snowman, Finally Christmas, Jingle Bells

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2379c | 00 1 CD | $6.95 Vintage Christmas


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