Posts Tagged ‘The Temptations’

Where There’s Smoke…

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Writer and singer of love songs; smooth, falsetto voice; record producer; Motown executive; easy on the eyes; easier on the ears; lullabies on sleepless nights– these all come to mind when I think of Smokey Robinson.  My earliest memory of Smokey Robinson is hearing “Shop Around” on a Motown tour album my parents stacked on the ‘hi-fi’ among albums by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Sam Cook and The Platters.  When I was nine, a family vacation in Atlantic City turned out into a concert fest that included Ray and his revue; Freda Payne (my brother could barely contain himself); and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  But, the most memorable afternoon of that trip was one spent seeing Smokey Robinson & the Miracles rocking the Steel Pier.

Later, when Smokey went solo, he and the Miracles played one last time on “Midnight Special”.  Ninety minutes of just THEM.  The show opened with Smokey in the spotlight and his preamble to Sweet Harmony.  By the end of the song, I thought I saw a tear.  I know I cried a few.

In the years that have passed since then, Smokey, with and without the Miracles, has continued to be a fixture on the soundtrack of my life.  His love songs along with those by The Whispers, The Manhattans, The Temptations, Barry White and other Mellow Men, grace my quiet nights when I want to enjoy the stars in the sky or the romance in the air.  And, they are my lullabies, still.

So, today, more than ever, where there’s Smoke, there’s love.

(This is for all my friends at Todd Grundy’s Question Of The Day;  especially Scottie, who, like me, thinks excluding Smokey from any ‘best of’ song list is simply criminal.  No cuffs will be needed today.)

TNS – Cupid’s Hunt – Where There’s Smoke…

  1. Quiet Storm – Smokey Robinson – A Quiet Storm
  2. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Motown Love
  3. TGrundy
  4. (You Can) Depend On Me – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  5. Ooo Baby Baby – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Motown Love
  6. Fave
  7. The One Who Really Loves You – Mary Wells – Motown Love
  8. I’ll Try Something New – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  9. Tracks of My Tears – Aretha Franklin – Respect and Other Hits
  10. DarrenKeith
  11. My Girl – The Temptations – The Temptations Sing Smokey
  12. The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  13. Since I Lost My Baby – Luther Vandross – The Essential Luther Vandross
  14. We’ve Come Too Far To End It Now – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  15. Who’s Loving You – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  16. Who’s Loving You – The Jackson 5 – Love Songs
  17. Angel Turner
  18. Sweet Harmony – Smokey Robinson – Sweet Harmony
  19. Baby Come Close – Smokey Robinson – Sweet Harmony
  20. Everything You Touch – Smokey Robinson – The Solo Anthology
  21. One Heartbeat – Smokey Robinson – Motown Love
  22. Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson – The Ultimate Collection
  23. Blame It On Love – Smokey Robinson, Deniece Williams – The Solo Anthology
  24. Ebony Eyes – Smokey Robinson, Rick James – Motown Love
  25. Wedding Song – Smokey Robinson – A Quiet Storm

Class of ’75 – A Song For You

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

When it comes to songs that bring memories (and the occasional tear), the one song that still stops me in my tracks, it’s the Tempts’ “A Song For You”.  You can’t dance to it; you just have to sit and listen.  Sing along if you think you can; but, even in private, I rarely try to drown out what I still think was Dennis Edwards’ finest performance.

The album was a bon-voyage present from a group of friends.  The title song was my favorite at the time (quite a feat, considering the slavish devotion I paid to those Jackson boys); and I was planning to buy the album with the first paycheck from my new job.  Instead, thanks to my friends, I got to take the album with me and play it all summer on my tiny portable record player.  “A Song For You” and “Memories” are on every ‘mellow’ playlist I write and disc I burn.  They are my lullabies; the background music when I study; the wind-down music when I want to sit and chill.  They have quieted fussy babies; and, kicked-off reunions with my friends.  But, most of all, they remind me of good people I miss; and more good people I’ve met along the way.

So, on Sunday evenings, when the local r&b channel airs its “Quiet Storm” show, I close my eyes and remember…

It’s June, 1975.  We’re done with high school; and looking forward to leaving (scattering, really) in September.  I can’t wait, and take an out-of-town summer job.  There’s one last hurrah, though:  a surprise party at my house; and two albums wrapped in paper (thanks, guys).  For the PCs, I pour a little on the ground for one of us, and toast the rest.

P.S.  That’s the Commodores backing up the Tempts on “Happy People”.  They were listed on the album as “The Temptations Band”.

Class of ’75 – The Temptations by JBethune

April Birthday Tribute: Marvin Gaye (of course)

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

I wasn’t going to let April 2 pass without paying tribute to Marvin Gaye.  Had he lived, he would be 71 today.  There’s not much to say beyond that.  In light of the circumstances of April 1, 1984, I found “Piece of Clay” to be particularly beautiful and haunting.

This is dedicated to my mom, Ethel Mae McKenzie White, who celebrates her own birthday in two days and always had plenty of Motown playing around the house; to Curt Jones (I can’t hear “Too Busy Thinking  About My Baby” without remembering him singing that song on our bus to summer camp); and to my cousin, Patricia (I can’t listen to “Got To Give It Up” without remembering her wedding reception).

Is that the Temptations singing background on “Try It Baby” and “Your Precious Love”?

Marvin Gaye

Song – Artist (other than Marvin Gaye) – Album {time}

  1. Nightshift Intro – The Commodores – The Commodores Anthology
  2. Come Get To This – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 2) {2:41}
  3. Try It Baby – Anthology (Disc 1) {2:59}
  4. Pride and Joy – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {2:07}
  5. I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye {3:16}
  6. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {2:57}
  7. Stubborn Kind of Fellow – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 1) {2:44}
  8. Your Precious Love (feat. Tammi Terrell)– Very Best of Marvin Gaye {3:04}
  9. I’ll Be Doggone – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {2:48}
  10. Trouble Man – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 2) {3:58}
  11. I Want You – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {3:57}
  12. Got to Give It Up, Part 1 – Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye {4;15}
  13. After The Dance – The Best of Marvin Gaye {3:31}
  14. Let’s Get It On – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {4:53}
  15. Distant Lover [Live] –  Very Best of Marvin Gaye {6:18}
  16. Sexual Healing – Slow Jams – {4:10}
  17. What’s Going On – Anthology {3:58}
  18. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye {3:16}
  19. Inner City Blues  – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {5:28}
  20. The World Is Rated X – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 2) {3:50}
  21. God Is Love – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 2) {2:52}
  22. Piece of Clay – Phenomenon: Music From The Motion Picture {5:11}

The First Mix! Cupid's Hunt: TNS – I Want You

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

When I ‘dipped my toes’ in this year’s Cupid’s Hunt Podcast Collaboration Event, I had in mind one list of tracks to post on Facebook or MySpace.  Each song on the list had a theme; be it first love, great love, love gone wrong, “I want you” or wedding jams (Greg and I married four days before Valentines Day).  The list grew, split and became several lists…all while I was learning the basics of blogging; podcasting; soft-and hardware and whatever else had come down the pike since I bought (and never used) dj software back in the days of Windows 98.

My first mix is some of my favorite songs that say “I want you”, smooth and cool.  Screaming and shouting might wake us up; but it’s smooth and cool that keeps us awake on the night shift.  

Cupid’s Hunt: TNS – I Want You

Playlist – Song – Artist – Album [time]

  1. That the Way It’s Got To Be (Body and Soul) – The Soul Generation – Beyond Body and Soul [3:08]
  2. I Want You – Marvin  Gaye – The Very Best of Marvin Gaye [3:57]
  3. Make Me Want You – Curt Jones – 360 Degrees [5:29]
  4. Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye – The Very Best of Marvin Gaye [4:53]
  5. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye – Slow Jams [4:10]
  6. Give It To Me – The Whispers – Greatest Slow Jams [5:24]
  7. Lady – The Whispers – Greatest Slow Jams [5:07]
  8. Hey Girl (I Like Your Style) – The Temptations – Love Songs [3:29]
  9. Reasons – Earth, Wind & Fire – That’s The Way Of The World [4:58]
  10. Love Won’t Let Me Wait – Major Harris – My Way [5:34]
  11. Turn Your Lights Down Low – Lauren Hill and Bob Marley – The Ultimate Mp3 Zone [4:02]
  12. A Little Bit More – Freddie Jackson/Melba Moore – Body and Soul:  Duets [4:55]
  13. Practice What You Preach – Barry White – The Icon Is Love [5:58]