*(MAA News) – At about 6:30am (Detroit time) Sunday, after a long illness, Bobby Rogers of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles died at his Detroit suburban home, he was 73 years old.
Rogers joined the pre-Miracles group The Matadors in the 1957. The group auditioned for Jackie Wilson and was turned down. But, Berry Gordy who was a songwriter for Wilson (“Lonely Tear Drops”) was there during the audition. Gordy pursued the rejected group (who he [Gordy] eventually managed, produced, and recorded), changed their name to ‘The Miracles’ and went on to build the label known as Motown.
Rogers along with the rest of the Miracles garnered a series of hits for the company (“Shop Around,” “Tears Of A Clown,” “Mickey’s Monkey,” and many more).
Interesting enough, the only girl in the group Claudette (Rogers) Robinson – Smokey’s former wife – was Bobby’s cousin.
After Smokey left the group in 1970, the Miracles continued to garner hits with new lead singer Billy Griffin:
- Don’t Let It End (‘Til You Let It Begin) (1973)
- Do It Baby (1974)
- Don’t Cha Love It (1974)
- Gemini (1975)
- Love Machine – Pt. 1 (1975)
- Night Life (1976)
On December 18, 1963 Rogers married one of the lead singers of the Motown group The Marvelettes, Wanda Young. They had several children together and divorced in 1975 after twelve years of marriage. In 1981 Rogers married Joan Hughes on his birthday.
“Bobby & Joan were beautiful people; I’m proud to say I am a friend. We love them very much, and I will miss Bobby,” said Billy Wilson founder of the Motown Alumni Association.
The wedding ceremony was officiated by the late Cecil Franklin, the older brother of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. Rogers and his wife Joan reared four children (Bobbae, Gina, Kimberly & Robert III).
Up until his death, Rogers was bed ridden in recent years, and cared for by his wife of 31 years Joan in their Detroit suburban home. Funeral arrangements were not available at this time.
For more info on Bobby Rofgers history with The Miracles, check out this interview via YouTube