*Motown legend Smokey Robinson is known for his silky, sultry, delicious crooning.
Well, starting this month his honeyed vocals can be heard as part of the launch of American Greetings Hollywood SmashUps™ collection of celebrity video ecards.
The popular ecards will give fans the opportunity to customize greetings sung by Robinson himself for a variety of holidays and occasions.
The first new ecard features My Girl, the Temptation’s 1965 hit written by Robinson. It launched this week in support of Robinson’s newly-created holiday on Sunday, October 8: Father-Daughter Day. This innovative holiday highlights the encouraging influence a positive connection between a father and his daughter can have on her growth and development. After this inaugural year, the Father-Daughter Day will take place on the second Sunday of each October.
I recently caught up with the always cordial and upbeat Smokey Robinson to talk about his latest project.
DD: How and why did you decide to participate with the Father-Daughter Day on Oct. 8.
SR: American Greetings approached me. They said they wanted to start a Father-Daughter Day. It’s a gender situation. I wanted to promote fathers and daughters having a better connection.
DD: This sounds exciting. So, which of your songs can people hear and use as a personalized ecard?
SR: Yes, we’re excited about it, too. I sing My Girl and Get Ready. I did videos singing both of those songs. If you want to personalize a video greeting, you can insert any name.
DD: You have six daughters, so you can definitely speak to this. Why is the father-daughter relationship so unique?
SR: I think it’s a gender thing. Daughters relate to males better than they do their mothers. Sons are always clinging to their moms. It’s almost automatic. My daughter and I were tight from the beginning.
DD: What do you mean by tight?
SR: It’s about spending time, quality time with my daughter. Just being together. I was on the road a lot. I retired when Tamla was three. My oldest son was almost six. We were moving from Detroit to L.A because of Motown. It’s important for all families to spend time together. I don’t think I’ve had a conversation on the phone with anyone I love without ending it by telling them, ‘I love you’. I can be mad, but when we end our conversations we always say, ‘I love you’. That’s important.
DD: Describe your relationship with your daughters.
SR: My relationship with my daughters is fantastic. Well, I have my daughter, Tamla, who was named after the record label. I have five daughters by marriage. They are my wife’s daughters. We all have a great relationship.
DD: What would you like to see happen on Oct. 8?
SR: The best thing to do that day is to communicate. It would be great to be able to have fathers and daughters see each other physically, if possible. Go to lunch. At least speak on the phone.
DD: Why did you want to do it?
SR: I think it’s important to promote any kind of loving relationship.
DD: Which song of yours would you send to your wife or your daughter in a personalized video greeting card?
SR: Wow, I’m not really sure which song I’d pick. I’ve written so many.
DD: How many have you written?
SR: About 4,000. It’s hard to pick just one.
DD: On October 8, what are you going to do with your girls?
SR: I’m not sure what we’re doing, but we’re going to do something. I’ll probably get together with Tamla. My other daughters are in Pittsburgh. If I’m not with them, I will speak to them.
**This November Smokey Robinson will release his very first solo Christmas CD, titled Christmas Everyday. It was recorded for, and exclusively distributed through, Amazon. The CD features 10-songs which include three originals pieces accompanied by seven renditions of Robinson’s personal favorite carols and hymns. Special guests include Take 6, Trombone Shorty, The Dap Kings, and Us the Duo.
Darlene Donloe is as entertainment and travel journalist whose work has appeared in People, Ebony, Essence, LA Watts Times, This Stage, LA Stage Times, Los Angeles Sentinel, The Daily Breeze, EMMY, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Grammy and more. She is also an adjunct professor at California State University Northridge (CSUN). Contact her via: [email protected].