• Grateful and Blessed

  • Words + Music, Vol. 10
  • By: Smokey Robinson
  • Narrated by: Smokey Robinson
  • Length: 1 hr and 35 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (3,241 ratings)
Grateful and Blessed  By  cover art

Grateful and Blessed

By: Smokey Robinson
Narrated by: Smokey Robinson

Publisher's summary

If any artist could brag about his contribution to the pop culture canon, it’s Smokey Robinson. His career is filled with so many “he was there” moments it’s a wonder he doesn’t recall them with the swagger of a conquering hero: songwriting and singing as a teenager in Detroit; co-founding Motown Records with Berry Gordy; creating 26 Top 40 hits with his group The Miracles; helping to spark racial integration of popular music in the 1960s; discovering hitmakers like Diana Ross and the Supremes; penning tunes for a jaw-droppingly diverse group of artists including Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, The Jackson Five, Kim Carnes, Linda Ronstadt; and releasing smash hits as solo artist well into the 1980s.

But surprisingly, and delightfully, Robinson is as awed by his success as we are listening to him describe it. He guides us through his extraordinary career with the same giddy sense of discovery and delight that music fans recall the first time they heard one of his infectious tunes.

He takes us back to his group’s first, disastrous performance at the Apollo Theater, opening for a brilliant and generous Ray Charles. He describes daily life at the famed Hitsville studio in Detroit, where a young Diana Ross or Martha Reeves could be found working as the receptionist. He shares his pride in being an influence on the Beatles and hearing his songs on their album - a transforming moment for the Motown sound. “I ain't never heard no popular white boys say anything like that ever. For them to come out and tell the world? They were my guys from then on.”

And, of course, he takes us inside his songs. He describes where he was - shaving in the mirror at home - when “The Tracks of My Tears” finally came together. He remembers taking the wheel on the last 150 miles back to Detroit after a tour, humming the melody that would become the Temptations hit “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” He recalls being floored by the way a 10-year-old Michael Jackson brought a depth and soul to “Who’s Loving You.” And he explains where the term “Quiet Storm” originated, a song title that went on to become an entire musical genre.

It’s a journey Robinson revisits with a grateful, humble heart. He has no agenda to push, no axes to grind, no scores to settle. He reflects on the ups as well as downs, and looks back with appreciation for the people who put love in his life. That makes listening a distinct pleasure: You get to spend time with a hugely influential artist who is warm, upbeat, and proud to have built a life and career through his art.

©2020 Smokey Robinson (P)2020 Audible Originals LLC

About the Creator and Performer

William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr., is a legendary singer-songwriter, record producer, record executive, and co-founder of Motown Records. Robinson and his group, The Miracles, met Berry Gordy who was impressed with Robinson's vocals and ambitious songwriting. With his help they released "Got a Job." It was the beginning of a successful collaboration and the beginnings of Motown.
In 1960, The Miracles recorded their and Motown’s first million selling hit, "Shop Around." Between 1960 and 1970, Robinson would produce 26 Top 40 hits with the Miracles including "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", "I Second That Emotion" and the group's only number-one pop hit, "The Tears Of A Clown."
Robinson was one of the major songwriters and producers for Motown, penning several hit singles such as "Who’s Loving You," "My Guy," "The Way You Do The Things You Do", "My Girl", "Get Ready," and "Ain't That Peculiar." His most successful solo album, A Quiet Storm, yielded three hit singles, "Baby That's Backatcha", "The Agony & The Ecstasy," and "Quiet Storm." He hit the top of the charts again several years later with "Cruisin'," "Being with You," and teamed up with fellow Motown label mate Rick James for the R&B ballad, "Ebony Eyes".
Robinson made a triumphant return in the 80s with the album One Heartbeat and the singles "Just to See Her," which earned Robinson his first Grammy Award, and "One Heartbeat," both Top 10 hits. In the same year, he was inducted as a solo artist to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In recent years, Robinson released the standards album, Timeless Love, Time Flies When You're Having Fun, Now And Then, and Smokey & Friends. He released his first ever solo Christmas album, Christmas Everyday in November 2017 as an Amazon exclusive.

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