In the beginning, there were the Miracles.
They were Berry Gordy’s first group, before he started Motown Records. They were his anchor and his talent scouts, the softly urgent choir behind his—and their—ambitions.
William “Smokey” Robinson was the Miracles’ lead singer, their chief songwriter, and eventually their producer. With him, behind him his “partners,” Smokey called them—were Warren “Pete” Moore, a bass singer whom Smokey had known around their Detroit neighborhood since they were 13; Ronald “Ronnie” White, a baritone, a harmony whiz, and intellectual nicknamed “Mr. Exact,” who introduced the group to modern jazz; Robert “Bobby” Rogers, the suave second tenor, lover o f life, and their choreographer; and Claudette Rogers, Bobby’s younger cousin, a soprano/first tenor/alto, smart, cute, their den mother and secretary— and future Mrs. Robinson