The vice president of Motown!
Smokey Robinson is a singer, songwriter, and producer who started working with Berry Gordy before Motown was even founded.
Smokey’s band, The Miracles, was actually one of the first signings to the label.
During the 60s, Smokey Robinson and his Miracles released smash hits such as Shop Around, You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me, and The Tears of a Clown.
Smokey also worked as a songwriter and producer for Motown. In this role, he is responsible for My Guy, My Girl and Get Ready. He also wrote songs for Marvin Gaye and witnessed the development of Little Stevie Wonder.
As if that wasn’t enough, Robinson also filled the position as the Vice president of Motown from 1965.
This was seemingly too much on Smokey’s plate as in 1972, he announced that his singing career was over and that he was to be only Vice President and a devoted father from now on.
A year later Smokey announced his comeback with a new album but by now, his former students, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder had become so successful that anything Smokey released paled in comparison.
The sweet, somewhat innocent sound of the 60s that Smokey was the king of was gone, popular music had become more political.
What started out as “black music for white radio” had grown up and was now rebelling.
The new kings in town were Smokey’s students, Marvin and Stevie.
Get Ready – Chords & Guitar Lessons
Get Ready is a song that moves from a repetitive Minor Pentatonic verse riff to a simple four-chord chorus progression.
When the solo comes along, we take the original sax and string ideas and put them on the guitar.
Get Ready – Lyrics
I never met a girl who makes me feel the way that you do,
Whenever I’m asked who makes my dreams real I say that you do,
(you’re outta sight).
Go to Get Ready – Lyrics.
My Guy – Chords & Guitar Lessons
My Guy was an early Motown hit from Mary Wells who was the first female Motown star.
Using more jazz-influenced harmony, when you learn this song you’ll get an introduction to “playing over changes” as the licks use new scales for each chord.
My Guy – Lyrics
Nothing you could say could tear me away from my guy.
Nothing you could do ’cause I’m stuck like glue to my guy.
I’m sticking to my guy like a stamp to a letter,
like birds of a feather, we stick together.
Go to My Guy – Lyrics.