Smokey Robinson at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert

Smokey Robinson at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert ~ photo by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert hosted a concert by Smokey Robinson who is celebrating his 50th year in the music industry on October 26th. He must love what he is doing because he doesn’t look old enough to be singing for 50 years. Smokey founded the Miracles while still a teenager. He has written thousands of songs, some for other entertainers and some for himself.

Smokey decided he wanted to get closer to his audience and the way to do that would be to do a Q&A. Guests were asked to write a question before the concert. He would randomly pick a question to answer and then would follow that up with a song, usually relating to the question. Other times he would tell a little about the history of the song and why or how it was written. On person asked about other singers and he responded by saying he loved working with Marvin Gaye.

A woman requested that Smokey sing MY GIRL for a friend that was having a birthday. Other songs he sang were either requested or he sang them because of the nature of the question. Songs included such hits as Life of the Party, Ohh Baby Baby. You Really Got a Hold on Me and Forever and a Day. He said he writes songs that he wants to live on and on for people to enjoy. He feels that MY GIRL is like an International Anthem.

This was his first concert of this nature. He did it such an informal way that the audience responded by singing along on some of the songs. They laughed at the questions and his answers at times. He connected with his audience on a personal nature.


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