Dear Smokey,

Whether most people remember it today or not, you are one of the greatest songwriters in the history of American music. “Tracks of My Tears”? “Shop Around”? “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me”?

“Ooh Baby Baby”! “I Second That Emotion”! “Tears of A Clown”! “My Girl”!

I could go on, Smokey, but you see my point. Yes, it’s true that you eventually went on to more or less create the “Quiet Storm” genre, and most people my age or younger only remember you for your 1987 comeback, and its wretched double-barrelled shot of suck, “One Heartbeat” and “Just to See Her.” But nothing can take away from all the great music you made with the Miracles, and all the great songs you wrote for Motown artists. If there’s any justice in this world, Smokey, you’re dirty rotten filthy stinking rich. I mean, I’m talking wiping-your-ass-with-$100-bills rich.

Rich enough to keep from shilling microwave jambalaya and beans & rice:

The soul is:in the bowl?

I can understand why Chubby Checker is selling beef jerky—he only recorded one song anybody ever cared about, and he didn’t even write it. But you, Smokey?

Goddammit.

About the Author

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles is the founder and editor-in-chief of Popdose and Dadnabbit, as well as an entertainment writer whose work can be seen at Rotten Tomatoes and a number of other sites. Hey, why not follow him at Twitter while you're at it?

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