|By janebse (18.104.22.168) on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 08:09 am:|
This is a review of Smokey's concert in New Orleans July 5, 2003. It is especially for Nish and all Smokey fans.
Views and reviews from the final night of the Essence Music Festival in the Superdome.
Monday July 07, 2003
The ever-classy and youthful Smokey Robinson conducted a clinic on how a star of yesteryear still can remain vital. Sheathed in white, his hair done up in short ringlets, the 63-year-old Robinson, the artist who wrote and/or sang many of Motown's biggest hits during the label's glory years, reiterated how effectively he still can trigger a range of emotions. In contrast to Stevie Wonder's somewhat haphazard late-night show on Thursday, Robinson delivered a well-paced and smartly structured set Saturday, progressing naturally from peak to valley and back again, building to a big finish.
En route, Robinson sampled "Get Ready" and "My Girl" (both of which he wrote for the Temptations), "Baby Baby Don't Cry" and "Ooo Baby Baby." Before bounding through "Tears of a Clown," he regaled listeners with a long tale about writing the song with his old friend Wonder.
"He offered to drive me home to work on it," Robinson said. "There was no way I was going to go for it -- he drives much too fast."
Robinson's long gaze still elicits screams, his honey high tenor still purrs and he still can loft one of the sweetest falsettos in all of pop. His band, augmented by a string section and trio of vocalists, included former Miracles guitarist and frequent songwriting partner Marvin Tarplin. "The music is born through his fingers," Robinson said of Tarplin. "His fingers gave all these songs first life."
Against a backdrop of Tarplin's gentle finger-picking and strumming, Robinson launched a tour de force rendition of "Tracks of My Tears," a bittersweet and still devastating hit from the summer of '65. The rest of the ensemble eventually joined in, bringing the song home. It galvanized the Essence audience, which is not easily impressed, and earned a standing ovation.
Robinson returned for an encore of "Cruisin,' " another Tarplin collaboration, this one from 1979. He orchestrated a mass singing contest that pitted one half of the Superdome against the other. Generally, such contests come off as tired exercises, but Robinson's practiced hand and exuberance can win over even the most jaded observers.
The bulk of his compositions deal with love, he'd said earlier, "because love is the never-ending subject. Love is forever, I hope." So, too, is the enduring voice of Smokey Robinson.
|By DUSTYROSE (22.214.171.124) on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 07:28 pm:|
THANKS SO MUCH FOR PASSING THIS ON.THIS REVIEW
WAS A MIRROR IMAGE OF THIS YEARS TOUR.
AS A COLLECTOR OF ALL THINGS SMOKEY,I WILL ADD THIS STORY TO MY FILES.
I'VE SEEN SMOKEYS CONCERT TWICE THIS YEAR AND
HE MAKES IT FRESH AND NEW EACH AND EVERY TIME.
I'M LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS A REVIEW OF LAST
MONTHS CONCERT AT THE APOLLO THEATER IN NYC.
ANY LEADS??? IT WAS HIS FIRST APPERANCE IN 30 YEARS AND THERE WAS SO LITTLE COVERAGE .VERY PUZZLING.
|By SB (126.96.36.199) on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 07:41 pm:|
janabse - thanks girl. That was a great read. And, I especially loved the last quote by Smokey, about Love. Now wasn't it the truth, for real? It is no wonder, I loved that man so much. Smokey loved to sing and write about Love - and that is why God blessed him so - IMO. I loved his music.
I mentioned in a Sam Cooke thread, that to me, music is a unifier, but Love is still the most important key and recipe. Now isn't that the truth?
You go William "Smokey - More Love" Robinson.
|By janebse (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 03:55 pm:|
I have tried to find reviews of other concerts. Most of the time it's just trial and error and then boom! I hit on the right key and get the review. I too wondered how the Apollo concert went. I think someone said he hadn't been at the Apollo in 30 years.
Last night I again played my DVD of Smokey in Las Vegas.
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 04:21 pm:|
A customer of mine at my record store attended the Smokey Robinson concert at the legendary Apollo Theatre here in the Big Apple (I didn't find out until the last minute & boy was I pissed I had to work that night!).
The customer - a beautiful woman in her early 50s - said that Smokey not only performed a hell of a concert, he even shared some spoken-word poetry with the audience that ellicted a loud ovation. He did say to the Apollo audience that it had been 30 years since he performed there last. He must've performed some songs from his last Motown CD (released in 1998) because my customer bought two copies (one for her, the other for her mother).
BTW - Keith Spera, who reviewed Smokey's gig at the Essence Music Festival, is a die-hard lover of classic soul/R&B music and a dear colleague of mine. I'm glad he gave Smokey's gig high marks.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By janebse (220.127.116.11) on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 06:23 pm:|
And I'm glad you gave authenticity to Spera's review. I've known art critics who knew nothing of art.
KevGO, Also thanks for the review. When I went to check the newspapers, I found an article written before the concert at the Apollo in the NY Post which isn't much help
I know Smokey left Motown around 1991. When did he go back to Motown. I knew or thought he was back with Motown but didn't know when this occurred. You mention a Motown release in 1998. `
|By KevGo (18.104.22.168) on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 06:34 pm:|
Smokey returned to Motown in late 1998 and released the CD "Intimate" in early 1999. The album featured songs written by Smokey, Berry Gordy & Michael Stokes.
Keith Spera & the folks in New Orleans really know their music down there. I often learn quite a bit from the music journalists of the Crescent City
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By janebse (22.214.171.124) on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 07:11 pm:|
I used to live in New Orleans. And for many years I have lived near New Orleans. So the artistic events in New Orleans are a part of our lives. However, unfortunately I could not make it to New Orleans to see Smokey perform.
I am glad Smokey is back with Motown. It just seems right.
|By DUSTYROSE (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 09:03 pm:|
janebse...If you're interested,I usually get
Smokeys concert and Benefit info from Variety.com.
I then move over to wireimages.com for photos of the events.Currently,there are 157 photos of Smokey on this site,in date order and event order.You'll even get a peek at the current Mrs. Robinson.
The amount of charity work he does is inspiring..
Kevgo...The poem that Smokey read at the Apollo
was written by him for his May 16th appearance
on Def Poetry Jam,Russell Simmons gift to
us and carried by HBO.
The title is "The Black American"..Awesome!!!!!
It is currently all the buzz at
My admiration for him just grows and grows.
|By KevGo (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 11:12 am:|
The customer at my record store told me the same thing - the poem was originally for Def Poetry Jam.
BTW - When did Smokey remarry?
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Reese (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 03:05 pm:|
I think Smokey remarried last summer.
|By janebse (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 03:22 pm:|
I am interested. I am interested. How do I get there to see Smokey? GC Cameron or someone else posts Tempt pictures at the wireimage, but unless someone gives me the website, I can't seem to find it.
|By janebse (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 03:25 pm:|
I went to the site but it was "not accessible." I made a few changes in the web address and got a Poetry Lovers Page but only authors were listed were the greats of the past. IS this the kind of site where they list contemporary poems only for a day or two?
|By KevGo (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 03:37 pm:|
I was able to access the Smokey poem via their forum.
The poem is deep....
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By janebse (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 03:59 pm:|
What did I do wrong? List the site again.
|By KevGo (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 04:03 pm:|
If this doesn't work, log onto www.poetryloverspage.com, click onto the forum and scroll downt to the Smokey Robinson poetry mention. You'll be right there..
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Mark (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 04:22 pm:|
Smokey was supposed to play in the New Haven, CT Green for free in early August, but apparently has cancelled the show. I was looking forward to it, having never seen him before, but this review makes me feel like I have seen him. Thanks for posting it.
|By DUSTYROSE (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 10:24 pm:|
the amazing photo site is www.wireimages.com
click on celebrities and there will be a listing
by artists first name.
once you get to S,take a deep breath,take the phone off the hook and enjoy The Man.
you'll see Smokey rehearsing for the Def Poetry Jam taping. He is too cool for words.It's a great site.
Enjoy and don't forget to save it.
|By DUSTYROSE (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 10:48 pm:|
SMOKEY REMARRIED IN MAY OF LAST YEAR.
THE FORMER FRANCES GLADNEY WAS A FRIEND FOR 30 YRS. SHE WAS 57 WHEN THEY MARRIED.
IT WAS REFRESHING TO SEE SMOKEY (62) MARRY A WOMAN
THAT WAS HIS CONTEMPORARY AND BUCK THE CURRENT
TREND. A CLASS ACT IN ALL ASPECTS OF HIS LIFE.
I UNDERSTAND THAT THE PERFORMANCE ON DEF POETRY JAM LEFT THE YOUNGER AUDIENCE SPEECHLESS.
I'VE PRINTED A FEW COPIES AND MAILED THEM OUT
TO MY FRIENDS.HAVING HAD THE SAME DEFINITIONS APPLIED THROUGH OUT MY LIFE AS WELL,I REALLY RELATED TO HIS POEM.
I SUPPOSE WE'LL BE EXAMINING HIS WORDS FOR SOME TIME TO COME.I RECENTLY READ A COMMENTATOR SUGGEST SMOKEY ROBINSON SHOULD BE STUDIED IN OUR
CLASSROOMS ALONG SIDE OF SHAKESPEAR.
GLAD TO HEAR IT WAS ALSO 'DEEP' FOR YOU.
|By KevGo (22.214.171.124) on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 11:12 am:|
Smokey's appearance at Def Poetry Jam was mentioned in another thread (available in the SD Archives)and his reading smoked the house.
I agree with the commentator about Smokey's works should be studied in classrooms as well as Shakespeare. In time, this may be done.
I'm glad Smokey found someone to share the rest of his life with - I just can't picture this guy as a bachelor!
Kevin Goins - KevGo