What were you doing on Valentine's night? Eating a fine dinner with a loved one, having a shared bottle of wine, sitting close while listening to romantic music in a softly lit room? That's exactly what several hundred people were doing last night at the Smokey Robinson and the Miracles concert at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
It was certainly a night for romance; dinner at the fine in-house restaurant Arpeggio's, a delicious glass of Merlot from one of the Symphony bars, a walk out on the third floor deck that overlooks the beautiful city of Nashville or a moonlit stroll in the fountained courtyard and music from one of the most successful Motown crooners of all time.
Smokey Robinson was full of the Valentine's spirit himself, encouraging the audience to romance, (“with lots of touching and feeling”) in his boyishly charming manner which belies his almost 73 year age. Boyish charm wasn't the only endearing characteristic that spoke of the vast difference between Robinson's numerical age and his physical and mental one. The legend is vibrantly full of life, seemingly beaming with good health, loaded with energy, brimming over with mischievous humor and talent that is apparently ageless.
An entertainer/singer extraordinaire, it's immediately apparent why the Miracles, Robinson's Motown band, dominated the R&B scene in the '70s and '80s ,and why this highly acclaimed singer/songwriter has received so many awards, including Grammy's Living Legend Award, NARA'S Lifetime Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts Award from the president of the United States. He has also been honored with inductions into the Rock 'n' Roll and Songwriter's Halls of Fame.
As a member of Berry Gordy's first vocal group, Robinson suggested that Gordy give birth to the Motown Records dynasty. Soon after the creation of the company, “Shop Around” became Motown's first No. 1 hit on the R&B singles chart, followed by “You've Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Tears of a Clown”, the latter co-penned by Robinson's long time friend, Stevie Wonder – or as Robinson refers to him, “Stevie-ought-to-be-Wonder-Ful.”
There is only one night, and quite possibly only one more opportunity, to see the living legend known as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, live, up close and personal right here in your own city. If you didn't make it to last night's concert, I strongly suggest you head straight to nashvillesymphony.org to book your tickets for tonight. It's definitely a chance in a lifetime, and a fabulous post-Valentine's surprise for the person who holds your heart.