Bobby Rogers, who was a founding member of the legendary Motown group the Miracles, as well as a collaborating songwriter with the group’s lead singer Smokey Robinson, passed away on March 3rd following a long illness. He was 73.
As a member of the Miracles, he helped give Motown it’s first number one R&B hit in 1960 with “Shop Around”. Throughout the 1960s (and while Smokey Robinson was lead singer), some of the classic hits included “Who’s Lovin’ You” (later covered by the Jackson 5), “the Tracks of My Tears”, and “Going to a Go-Go”. In 1970, the band scored their first number one hit with “Tears of a Clown”, before Robinson departed from the group two years later. Their biggest hit after the split was 1975’s “Love Machine”, which also hit number one.
In addition to being a member of the Miracles, Rogers has also co-written songs for other Motown artists including Mary Wells, the Temptations, and the Contours. He could also be heard in the introduction of Marvin Gaye’s classic “What’s Going On”. Rogers, along with the other Miracles, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, but there was an initial controversy going back to 1987, when Smokey Robinson was inducted as a solo artist, which sparked scrutiny and protests from angry Miracles fans. As a result, the group’s induction was handled by the Rock Hall’s Special Committee, which recognized Rogers and the rest of the Miracles as a pioneering group.
With the death of Rogers, his cousin Claudette, who left the group in 1965, and Smokey Robinson are the two sole living members from the classic lineup.