How Smokey Robinson found the lyrics for 'Tracks of My Tears'


Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY7:49 p.m. EST January 28, 2014

ANAHEIM, Calif.¬†– Motown legend Smokey Robinsonis known for signing or writing some of the greatest songs of all time, including “My Girl,” “Shop Around,” “Tears of a Clown,” and “I Second That Emotion,” but it’s “The Tracks of My Tears” that is arguably his greatest composition.

The song, co-written with Marv Tarplin, is listed at No. 50 on Rolling Stone’s chart of the 500 greatest songs of all time, and has been covered by artists as diverse as Linda Rondstat, Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton.

We met up with Robinson recently at the National Association of Music Merchants convention here, where he was awarded the coveted “Music for Life” award, and asked him about songwriting. He recalled how he came up with the lyrics to “Tears,” while shaving. Watch the accompanying video for more.