|William Robinson, Jr.||In 1940, on this day William Robinson, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan. When still a child he was nicknamed "Smokey Joe" by an uncle because of his love of cowboy movies. In his teens, this was shortened to "Smokey".|
Smokey led a successful career as a song-writer from the mid sixties until entering the church after a religious calling in 1986. Fellow songwriter Bob Dylan named Robinson as one of his favorite 'poets' (usually mis-quoting Dylan as having named Robinson "America's greatest living poet"), and his hit ballads also earned him the title "America's poet laureate of love".
|Mary Wells had a big hit with the Robinson-penned "My Guy" (1964), and Robinson served as The Temptations' primary songwriter and producer from 1963 to 1966, penning hits such as "The Way You Do the Things You Do", "My Girl", "Since I Lost My Baby", and "Get Ready". Among Robinson's numerous other Motown compositions are "Still Water (Love)" by The Four Tops, "Don't Mess With Bill" and "My Baby Must Be a Magician" by The Marvelettes, "When I'm Gone" by Brenda Holloway, "Ain't That Peculiar" and "I'll Be Doggone" by Marvin Gaye, and "First I Look at the Purse" by The Contours.|