Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I've got so much honey the bees envy me. I've got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees.

Songs Everyone Should Know

“My Girl” The Temptations (1965)

The would-be boxer, Berry Gordy could be stubborn, ignorant, and rude but he set out to set the world on fire by making hit records one hit at a time - and that is what he did, very, very well. 

Berry first met William ‘Smokey’ Robinson in 1959. Smokey was impressed that Berry had written songs for Jackie Wilson. Berry asked him who wrote their groups’ songs, which was at the time called the ‘Matadors’. Smokey said “I do” and pulled out a school notebook full of pencilled lyrics. By the time they were done that day, Smokey had sung every song in his note book to Berry – some one hundred songs. Barry knew Smokey could write catchy pop tunes and over the next few years he helped him hone his craft.  Of course Smokey Robinson and the Miracles themselves spun out a few huge hits with songs like: ‘Shop Around’, ‘Ooh Baby Baby’, and ‘Tears of a Clown’.

In 1964 Smokey penned a song with fellow ‘Miracle’ Ronald White for the Temptations. It was about a girl and how he felt about here. Nothing deep, but just well-crafted pop-tunes like many done at ‘Hitsville U.S.A.’, the name of the Motown studio Berry built in Detroit. 

This is arguably the best known Temptations songs that had the benefit of such brilliant talent as David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks, now legends themselves. 1972’s “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” their last big hit is clearly worth a listen if you are not familiar with it. 

Happy belated birthday “My Girl”!

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