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Mar 5 13 4:37 PM
Mar 5 13 4:44 PM
As a vocalist, songwriter and choreographer, the Miracles’ Bobby
Rogers embodied the eclectic Motown spirit from the company’s earliest
Rogers died at about 6:30 a.m. today at his longtime Southfield home
after a lengthy illness, succumbing to complications from diabetes. He
Rogers, who had kept various incarnations of the Miracles going into
the new century, was a well-decorated figure with the group: inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, honored with a Rhythm & Blues
Foundation Pioneer Award, memorialized with a star on the Hollywood Walk
Rogers was preceded in death by founding Miracle Ronnie White, who died in 1995.
The strapping singer was remembered today by friends and family
members as a warm, congenial figure who made instant connections with
“He had the sparkling personality that was loved by everyone,” said
the Miracles’ Claudette Robinson, a first cousin of Rogers. “People
always commented on the tall one with the glasses. He was personable,
approachable and he loved talking to the women, loved talking to the
guys, loved to dance, loved to sing, loved to perform. That was the joy
of his life.”
That upbeat spirit is captured among the array of voices on Marvin
Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” with Rogers heard early on uttering, “It's
just a groovy party, man, I can dig it.”
“If people want to remember him, they should put that record on and
listen to Bobby,” said the Supremes’ Mary Wilson. “That’s who he was.”
Wilson last saw him when she and the Miracles toured Australia in 2010.
“When he walked out on stage, he walked out with a zest, even though
he had his walker,” she recalled. “He walked out in time (to the music),
and he was just great. He still loved what he did.”
While he was best known as one of the Miracles’ five voices, Rogers
was particularly proud of his songwriting contributions, including
credits with Smokey Robinson on hits such as “The Way You Do the Things
You Do” (the Temptations), “First I Look at the Purse” (the Contours)
and the Miracles’ “Going to a Go-Go.”
“He loved to write with Smokey,” said Claudette Robinson. “Bobby
would often say how happy he was to be allowed to write with him. Smokey
would say, ‘I’m not just allowing you — you’re a great writer.’”
Working and performing together was something of destiny for the two
childhood friends: They were born just an hour apart on Feb. 19, 1940,
in Detroit’s Herman Kiefer Hospital.
Rogers was among the handful of people privy to Motown’s rise from
the ground up: The Miracles – then the Matadors -- were discovered by
Berry Gordy Jr. in 1959, and became the first artist on the Tamla
The group had started as the Five Chimes, rehearsing doo-wop tunes
in the basement of Claudette Rogers’ home, learning material from old
With Rogers' tenor joining Pete Moore, Ronnie White and Claudette
Rogers in the harmonies around Robinson’s lead vocal, the Miracles’
“Shop Around” went on to become Motown’s first million-seller, and the
first of 30 Miracles hits to make the Top 40.
Wilson knew Rogers from the Supremes’ formative years, when the teen
group – then the Primettes – auditioned for the Miracles and began the
path to Motown. They both attended Northeastern High.
“He was like a celebrity there,” she recalled.
Rogers’ biggest starring role came with “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me” in 1962, singing two-part harmony with Robinson.
“Bobby liked to call it his duet with Smokey,” recalled Paul Barker,
a friend of the group. “He’d tell you, ‘Hey, I sang lead on that!’”
Rogers’ role became more pronounced after the departure of Robinson
in 1972, as he toured with Moore, White and a series of lead singers
into the 1980s. Rogers and White revived the group in the early ’90s
after a decade hiatus.
In more recent years, Rogers was the main engine for the Miracles,
trademarking the name and nurturing the legacy as he toured North
America and Europe under the group’s banner.
“He wanted that to be something he was remembered for: keeping the Miracles’ name alive,” said Barker.
Rogers is survived by his wife, Joan Rogers of Southfield, and children
Bobbae Rogers, Gina Hughes, Kimberly Hughes and Robert Rogers III, along
with his granddaughter, Brandi Williams, of the R&B group Blaque.
Daughter Robin Yopp is deceased.
Funeral arrangements have not been set. Check back to the Free Press for updated details.
Mar 5 13 9:42 PM
Songwriters and performers from the group "The Miracles" (L to R)
William "Smokey Robinson", Warren "Pete" Moore, Claudette Robinson and
Bobby Rogers are honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in
Hollywood, California on March 20, 2009. (UPI Photo/Hector Mata)
DETROIT, March 4 (UPI) -- Motown
musician Bobby Rogers has died of complications from diabetes in his
Southfield, Mich., home, his friend Jeanne Sorensen told The Detroit
He was 73.
Rogers was a founding member of the Miracles, the group once led by singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson, who quit the band to go solo in 1972.
Rogers was the only original member of the band left performing with
the Miracles when he retired in recent years due to illness, the News
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the
Miracles last year, but wasn't well enough to attend the April ceremony.
"My cousin Bobby, who was like a brother to me, lost his battle and
succumbed today," former Miracles member Claudette Rogers Robinson said
in a statement to the newspaper Sunday. "He has gone on to be with his
Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Bobby will be missed and mourned by many."
Rogers is survived by his wife Joan, and children Bobbae Rogers, Gina
Hughes, Kimberly Hughes and Robert Rogers III. He was predeceased by
his daughter Robin Yopp, the News said.
Mar 6 13 8:29 AM
March 4, 2013 11:10
Singer passes away after lengthy illness
Mar 6 13 11:00 AM
Mar 6 13 11:03 AM
Mar 6 13 11:11 AM
For more info and a complete listing of honorees visit R&B Hall Of Fame.
Mar 9 13 9:37 AM
Apr 12 13 11:04 AM
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Apr 19 13 1:58 PM
May 2 13 11:45 AM
This special two-CD release consists of the group's first five albums, in chronological order, three of which have never been issued on CD before: Hi... We're the Miracles(1961), Cookin' with The Miracles (1961), I'll Try Something New (1962-CD debut), The Fabulous Miracles(1963-CD debut), and The Miracles Recorded Live on Stage (1963-CD debut).
This collection also features a full color foldout, with the original front and rear covers of all five albums, complete with liner notes, and a 24-page booklet with photos and historical information on The Miracles with an essay by group chronicler Stu Hackel and commentary by Miracles Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore, Claudette Robinson, and Smokey Robinson, detailing their formation, the start of Motown Records, and their importance as Motown's first recording artists. The CD's cover photo features all six original group members:Smokey Robinson, his then-wife Claudette Robinson, her cousin Bobby Rogers, bass singer Pete Moore, baritoneRonnie White, and guitarist Marv Tarplin, taken during the 1961 photo sessions for their album, Cookin' With The Miracles.
This is the first new Miracles album released by Motown in decades where the group's originalname/billing has been restored - i.e. "The Miracles" as opposed to "Smokey Robinson & The Miracles" (the group was billed under their collective name at the time these albums were originally released).
This collection also features several previously-unreleased songs and bonus tracks, including two early regional releases of the group's first million-seller, "Shop Around", and the withdrawn 1959 single, "The Feeling Is So Fine". Hit songs in the collection include "I'll Try Something New", "What's So Good About Goodbye", "Shop Around", "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", "I've Been Good To You", "Who's Lovin' You", "Everybody's Gotta Pay Some Dues", "A Love She Can Count On", "Way Over There", and the title track, "(You Can) Depend on Me".
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May 12 13 11:02 PM
I Gotta Dance to Keep From Crying was a 1963 hit by The Miracles on Motown's Tamla label. It was a Billboard Top 40 Pop
hit,reaching # 35 on that chart, and a Top 20 hit on its R&B chart,
peaking at # 17 . It was written and produced by Motown's main
songwriting team, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, and was the follow-up to the group's Top 10 pop hit, "Mickey's Monkey",
written by the same team. The smash success of that song, according to
Motown policy, automatically gave Holland-Dozier-Holland the green light
to write and produce the Miracles' next release, which resulted in this
song. Like "Mickey's Monkey", "I Gotta Dance to Keep From Crying"
features a "live party" feel. The song's title is a play on the old
expression, "I Gotta Laugh to Keep From Crying", highlighting the
all-too-human tendency to escape from heartbreak or personal pain by
dancing, laughing and having a good time. Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson,
as the song's narrator, portrays a young man trying to get over the
heartbreak of a recent breakup with his girl: "Gather 'round me,
swingers and friends...help me forget my hurt within...I lost the only
girl I've ever loved...the only one I'm thinking of...and I've gotta
dance to keep from crying..." Holland-Dozier-Holland later went on to
write another Top 20 hit for the Miracles in 1966, "(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need",
which was the last song to bill the group as "The Miracles" before
their name was officially changed to "Smokey Robinson and the Miracles".
"I Gotta Dance to Keep From Crying" has inspired cover versions by The Who and Jimmy James, and was included on the group's albums The Miracles Doin' Mickey's Monkey, I Like It Like That (withdrawn from the U.S.), Greatest Hits from the Beginning, and several other Miracles "greatest hits" albums and CD anthologies.
The song was ranked Number 356 out of the 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made by the American rock critic Dave Marsh, who wrote: "no band ever cut a deeper groove than the Motown group does here".
The British rock journalist Jon Wilde ranked it Number 6 among his top
ten favourite songs in 2007, calling it "pure Motown gold and the
greatest party-on record there ever was".
Other instruments: The Funk Brothers
Written and produced by Holland–Dozier–Holland
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