♫ I Heard It Through The Grapevine ♫ (Redux)

Marvin Gaye.  Motown.  Sigh … they just don’t make it like that anymore, my friends.  I just played this one in April 2021, and I try to put at least the space of 2 years between playing a song, but this one came up in conversation a few nights ago, and … well, it kind of got stuck in my head (along with the cotton that seems to fill the empty spaces of late).  Last time I played it, our friend Clive suggested I listen to the 11+ minute version by Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). I’m not typically a fan of really long songs, my attention span seems to be between 3-4 minutes, but surprisingly I listened to the entire thing and liked it!  So, this year I am adding the CCR version to my lineup!  It’s long, but well worth the time spent to listen.

This song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966.  Strong first came up with the idea and asked the famous Motown songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland to work on it with them, but the team refused to credit another writer (egos, egos everywhere), so Whitfield and Strong it was.

The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967 when it went to number two in the Billboard chart.  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles were the first to record the song, but theirs wouldn’t be released until years later on an album called Special Occasion. The Isley Brothers then took a crack at it, but their version wasn’t released. Whitfield and Strong then had Marvin Gaye record the song but still no luck: Motown head Berry Gordy chose Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Your Unchanging Love over Grapevine as his next single. Finally, a new Motown act Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded the song as a gospel rocker. Their version was a hit, entering the Top 40 in November 1967 and going to #2 in the U.S.

The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Motown founder Berry Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label.

Mavin Gaye’s version is, and will likely always be, my favourite, but Gladys Knight’s stands out as well, so I have included it here, along with the aforementioned CCR version.

I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Marvin Gaye

Ooh, I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew
‘Bout your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before
Between the two of us guys you know I love you more
It took me by surprise I must say
When I found out yesterday
Don’tcha know that I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
Oh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, ooh, ooh, ooh)

I know a man ain’t supposed to cry
But these tears I can’t hold inside
Losin’ you would end my life you see
‘Cause you mean that much to me
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else
Instead I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
And I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

People say believe half of what you see, son
And none of what you hear
But I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true please tell me dear
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?
Don’tcha know I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Baby I heard it through the grapevine
Ooh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Honey, honey, I know
That you’re lettin’ me go
Said, I heard it through the grapevine
Heard it through the grapevine

Songwriters: Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield
I Heard It Through the Grapevine (American Tour Live) lyrics © Stone Agate Music, Emi Music Publishing France, Jobete Music Co Inc, Stone Agate Music Corp

♫ The Tracks Of My Tears ♫ (Redux)

Well, all last week was Neil Diamond Week here on Filosofa’s Word, and once it ended, David commented that now perhaps we could get back to some Smokey Robinson and some Gladys Knight!  I’m more than happy to oblige on those two, so let’s start with this gem from Smokey Robinson. 

One thing I learned from readers’ comments when I last played this back in October 2020 was that this version by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, recorded in 1965, didn’t really get much air time until two years later when white artist Johnny Rivers recorded it.  That, my friends, is unconscionable.  Mind you, Rivers version is also good, but the fact that it took a white artist to bring the song into the public eye is wrong … just wrong.  Ten years after Smokey’s original release, Linda Ronstadt also recorded it and it did fairly well, coming in at #2 in Canada, #42 in the UK, and #25 in the U.S.


Miracles leader Smokey Robinson came up with the concept when he was looking in the mirror one day, and thinking, What if a person would cry so much that you could see tracks of their tears in their face?

Miracles members Smokey Robinson, Warren Moore, and Marv Tarplin wrote this song. Robinson penned the lyrics; Tarplin, The Miracles’ guitarist, came up with the riff. Robinson recalled: “‘Tracks of My Tears’ was actually started by Marv Tarplin, who is a young cat who plays guitar for our act. So he had this musical thing [sings melody], you know, and we worked around with it, and worked around, and it became ‘Tracks of My Tears.'”

Robinson had the music Tarplin wrote on a cassette, but it took him about six months to write the lyrics. The words started coming together when he came up with the line, “Take a good look at my face, you see my smile looks out of place.” From there, it was a few days before he got the lines, “If you look closer it’s easy to trace… my tears.”

What to do with those tears was a problem, as he wanted to say something no one has said about tears.

“One day I was listening, and it just came – the tracks of my tears.  Like footprints on my face. So that was what I wrote about.”

This charted at #9 in the UK and #16 in the U.S.

The Tracks of My Tears
The Miracles

People say I’m the life of the party
‘Cause I tell a joke or two
Although I might be laughing loud and hearty
Deep inside I’m blue

So take a good look at my face
You know my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears

I need you
Need you

Since you left me if you see me with another girl
Looking like I’m having fun
Although she may be cute, she’s just a substitute
‘Cause you’re the permanent one

So take a good look at my face
You know my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears

Outside I’m masquerading
Inside my hope is fading
I’m just a clown since you put me down
My smile is my make up
I wear since my break-up with you

Baby, take a good look at my face
You know my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears

Songwriters: Marvin Tarplin / Smokey Robinson / Warren Moore / William Robinson Jr.
The Tracks of My Tears lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Just To See Her ♫

Tonight, I am in the mood for some Motown!  I haven’t played this one since 2018, so you probably don’t remember that I played it four years ago, right?  Heck, most of you probably didn’t know I existed four years ago.  Anyway, let’s kick back and love us some Smokey Robinson!


The song written by Jimmy George and Lou Pardini in 1987 and recorded by none other than Smokey Robinson.  Smokey was in a bit of a funk … well, more than a bit, actually … at the time.  His last big hit had been Being With You in 1981, and then in 1984, his friend Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his own father.  Robinson was already addicted to drugs, and Gaye’s death just put the final straw on the camel’s back.  Then in 1986, he and his wife Claudette divorced.  But this record put him back on top.  Surprisingly, Robinson’s only Grammy win came for this song; he won for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male.

Jimmy George and Lou Pardini would go on to join the band Chicago in 2009.

Apropos of nothing, but I found Smokey’s explanation of how he came by his name fascinating:

Smokey-4“My Uncle Claude was my favorite uncle, he was also my godfather. He and I were really, really close. He used to take me to see cowboy movies all the time when I was a little boy because I loved cowboy movies. He got a cowboy name for me, which was Smokey Joe. So from the time I was three years old if people asked me what my name was I didn’t tell them my name was William, I told them my name was Smokey Joe. That’s what everyone called me until I was about 12 and then I dropped the Joe part. I’ve heard that story about him giving it to me because I’m a light skinned Black man but that’s not true.”

Just to See Her
Smokey Robinson

Just to see her
Just to touch her
Just to hold her in my arms again one more time

If I could feel her warm embrace
See her smiling face
Can’t find anyone to take her place
I’ve got to see her again

I would do anything
I would go anywhere
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
Just to see her again

I can’t hide it no
I can’t fight it
It’s so hard to live without the love she gave to me

Doesn’t she know it
I tried hard not to show it
Can’t I make her realize that she really needs me again

I would do anything
I would go anywhere
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
Just to see her again
She brightened up my everyday
Made me feel so good in every way
If I could have her back to stay
I’ve got to see her again

I want to see her
(Just to see her)
Hold her hold her hold her
(Just to see her) see her
Just to touch her

Touch her
I would do anything
I would go anywhere
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
Just to see her again
She brightened up my everyday
Makes me feel so good in every way
If I could have her back to stay (today)
I’ve got to see her again

it would it would it would
(Just to see her) make me feel so good
(Just to see her)if I if I could only see her again
Just see her again
Just to see her theres nothin’ I wouldn’t do
Just to see her oh don’t you know its true
Just to see her (if I could only see her again oh)

Songwriters: Jimmy George / Louis Joseph Pardini
Just to See Her lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Being With You ♫ (Redux)

Some nights, there is a song I particularly want to play, and other nights I’m at a loss.  I was just cruisin’ through my archives tonight, not having the stamina to post a new song, and this one seemed like a pretty good choice!  So, let’s love us some Smokey Robinson tonight!


Robinson wrote this for Kim Carnes after she recorded his song More Love, which was produced by George Tobin. What Smokey didn’t know was that Carnes and Tobin were no longer working together, but instead of explaining that to Smokey, Tobin brought him in and convinced him to record the song himself.

Tobin had his own studio, and floated an unusual idea: he would record and produce the song as a Smokey Robinson solo effort. Robinson, who was one of the top Motown producers, had never been produced before as a solo act, but he went for the idea. They started work on the song that night and were finished the next day. The result was Robinson’s biggest hit as a solo artist, reaching #2 on the Hot 100. It was held out of the #1 spot in the US by Bette Davis Eyes, which was recorded by… Kim Carnes!  Talk about coincidence!

According to Scott Edwards, who played bass on this song …

“George Tobin, he went to Smokey Robinson and he told the Motown Machine that if they let him cover all the expenses for the session, play with the musicians, be totally economically responsible, then he wanted some huge percentage of the profit. And Motown, thinking, ‘This cat doesn’t know what he’s doing,’ and ‘How can we lose?’ they agreed to it. So he went in the studio and cut these tracks on Smokey and one of them was ‘Being With You.’ In the session, he would give us basic guidelines on what he felt different times. We’d throw things at him and he’d say, ‘Yeah, do that.’ So he was not a musical person at all, but he had a helper, a co-producer named Mike Piccirillo who was a guitar player. So between the two of them, they would let you know what they wanted.

He came up with the tune and he said, ‘Do this, Scott.’ So I did it and chordally it worked out. Then later on when I heard it, I said, They knew what they wanted. I didn’t, but they did. And it worked out. But they would give you guidelines and then if you had something better, they would leave you alone and let you go with it.

Smokey wrote the song, but as far as the interpretation of it, it was totally George Tobin and Piccirillo. That turned out to be one of Smokey’s biggest tunes, and Motown had to fork over part of that big percentage that they just knew was not going to work out.”

According to this song’s producer, George Tobin, Motown president Berry Gordy didn’t think this would do very well, but when it started to climb the charts he put a lot of promotion behind it. The song was unusual in that it was released on Motown Records, but through an arrangement with someone outside the company. On the single, it said, “Produced and arranged by George Tobin in association with Mike Piccirillo for George Tobin productions.

The song hit #1 in the UK, #2 in the U.S., and #5 in Canada.

Being With You
Smokey Robinson

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you

Honey don’t go, don’t leave this scene
Be out of the picture and off of the screen
Don’t let them say “we told you so”
They tell me you’ll love me and then let me go

I’ve heard the warning voice
From friends and my relations
They tell me all about your heart-break reputation

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say, no
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you

People can change, they always do
Haven’t they noticed the changes in you?
Or can it be, that like love I am blind?
Do I want it so much ’til it’s all in my mind?

One thing I know for sure
Is really really real
I never felt before the way you make me feel

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you
Being with you
Being with you

I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you
I wanna be with you

I don’t care if they start to avoid me

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: William Smokey Robinson Jr.

♫ What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted

Hey!!!  Guess what???  I found one of my favourite Motown songs that I haven’t played here before!  It’s nothing short of a miracle!  No, it’s not by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.  I have no idea why, but I somehow thought I remembered this one as being by the Four Tops!  Not even close, as it happens.

This was written by Motown writers Jimmy Dean, Paul Riser, and William Witherspoon. They wrote it for The Detroit Spinners, but Jimmy Ruffin, brother of The Temptations’ David Ruffin, convinced the Motown writers to let him try it, and they liked what they heard.

Many Motown songs deal with heartbreak, but this one is especially bleak. The poor guy has recently joined the ranks of the brokenhearted, and he’s not sure what happens next. He knows he can’t take the pain much longer but keeps coming up empty in his search.

Originally, this contained a spoken intro:

A world filled with love is a wonderful sight

Being in love is one’s heart’s delight

But that look of love isn’t on my face

That enchanted feeling has been replaced

It was cut out before the song was released, but the version with the intro did appear on a British compilation which also included Ruffin’s version of the song in Italian (“Se Decidi Cosi”).

Smokey Robinson produced this track. He worked on many Motown classics as an artist, writer and producer.  Other Motown acts to record this song include Diana Ross and The Supremes, who did a cover of this for their album Let the Sunshine In, and The Contours, who did it at a faster tempo. Both of these versions contains the spoken intro.

In the UK, this charted at #10 when it was first released in 1966 but reached #4 when it was re-released in 1974.  In the U.S., it made it to #7.

Dave Stewart (not the one from Eurythmics) released a keyboard-driven version of this song in 1980 with Colin Blunstone of The Zombies on vocals. This rendition, which had Amanda Parsons and Jakko on backing vocals, hit #13 in the UK.  The British duo Robson & Jerome took this song to #1 in the UK when they released it as a single along with covers of Saturday Night At The Movies and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Vonda Shepard recorded this for an episode of the TV series Ally McBeal. Paul Young recorded this for the 1991 movie Fried Green Tomatoes. His version went to #1 on the US Adult Contemporary charts and made #22 on the Hot 100 (the only version besides Ruffin’s to make this chart).

The theme song from the 1992 Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard was Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You, but according to her leading man Kevin Costner speaking at her funeral in February 2012, the first choice was this song, which ended up being used in Fried Green Tomatoes (the Paul Young version).

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted

Jimmy Ruffin

As I walk this land with broken dreams
I have visions of many things
But happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion
What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe

The roots of love grow all around
But for me they come a-tumblin’ down
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can’t stand this pain much longer
I walk in shadow searching for light
Cold and alone, no comfort in sight
Hoping and praying for someone to care
Always moving and goin’ nowhere
What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Help me

I’m searching, though I don’t succeed
But someone look, there’s a growing need
Oh, he is lost, there’s no place for beginning
All that’s left is an unhappy ending
Now, becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind

I’ll be searching everywhere
Just to find someone to care
I’ll be looking everyday, I know I’m gonna find a way
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
I’ll find a way somehow
And I’ll be searching everywhere
I know I gotta find a way
I’ll be looking

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: James Anthony Dean / Paul Riser / William Henry Witherspoonn

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ I Heard It Through The Grapevine ♫

Marvin Gaye.  Motown.  Sigh … they just don’t make it like that anymore, my friends.  In some ways, this is a redux, for I did play it here three years ago, but I have added some trivia and two additional versions (Glady’s Knight and the Pips, and Smokey Robinson) to the post.

This song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966.  Strong first came up with the idea and asked the famous Motown songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland to work on it with them, but the team refused to credit another writer (egos, egos everywhere), so Whitfield and Strong it was.

The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967 when it went to number two in the Billboard chart.  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles were the first to record the song, but theirs wouldn’t be released until years later on an album called Special Occasion. The Isley Brothers then took a crack at it, but their version wasn’t released. Whitfield and Strong then had Marvin Gaye record the song but still no luck: Motown head Berry Gordy chose Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Your Unchanging Love over Grapevine as his next single. Finally, a new Motown act Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded the song as a gospel rocker. Their version was a hit, entering the Top 40 in November 1967 and going to #2 in the U.S.

The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Motown founder Berry Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label.

Mavin Gaye’s version is, and will likely always be, my favourite, but Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson certainly deserve honourable mention, so I have included them here.

I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Marvin Gaye

Ooh, I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew
‘Bout your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before
Between the two of us guys you know I love you more
It took me by surprise I must say
When I found out yesterday
Don’tcha know that I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
Oh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, ooh, ooh, ooh)

I know a man ain’t supposed to cry
But these tears I can’t hold inside
Losin’ you would end my life you see
‘Cause you mean that much to me
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else
Instead I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
And I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

People say believe half of what you see, son
And none of what you hear
But I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true please tell me dear
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?
Don’tcha know I

Heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Baby I heard it through the grapevine
Ooh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah
(Heard it through the grapevine)
(Not much longer would you be my baby, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Honey, honey, I know
That you’re lettin’ me go
Said, I heard it through the grapevine
Heard it through the grapevine

Songwriters: Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield
I Heard It Through the Grapevine (American Tour Live) lyrics © Stone Agate Music, Emi Music Publishing France, Jobete Music Co Inc, Stone Agate Music Corp

♫ Tears Of A Clown ♫ (Redux)

I last played this one three years ago, and amazingly I haven’t reduxed it yet!  It was a big hit with my readers then, and is considered some of the best of Motown.


I always learn something new when I research the background of the songs I play here, and tonight I learned that Tears of a Clown was written by Hank Cosby, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder!  I had no idea Stevie Wonder had a role in it.  I also had no idea that it was based on the Italian opera Pagliacci, which is about a clown who must make the audience laugh while he weeps behind his makeup because his wife betrayed him.

Stevie Wonder came up with the music for this song with Motown producer Hank Cosby. They recorded an instrumental demo and asked Robinson to complete the song – it was common practice for Motown writers to work on each other’s songs at the time.

Robinson listened to the song for a few days and decided it sounded like a circus – he came up with the lyrics based on the clown …

“I was trying to think of something that would be significant, that would touch people’s hearts, but still be dealing with the circus.  So what is that? Pagliacci, of course. The clown who cries. And after he makes everyone else happy with the smile painted on his face, then he goes into his dressing room and cries because he’s sad. That was the key.”

First released in 1967, this one was a hit on both sides of the pond, and reached the #1 slot in both the U.S. and UK, though Smokey had not had much luck in the UK up to that point.

Tears of a Clown
The Miracles

Oh yeah yeah yeah
Now if there’s a smile on my face
It’s only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that’s quite a different subject

But don’t let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I’m sad, oh I’m sadder than sad
You’re gone and I’m hurting so bad
Like a clown I appear to be glad (sad, sad, sad, sad)

Now they’re some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
The tears of a clown when there’s no one around, uh
Oh yeah, baby

Now if I appear to be carefree
It’s only to camouflage my sadness
And honey to shield my pride I try
To cover this hurt with a show of gladness
But don’t let my show convince you
That I’ve been happy since you
‘Cause I had to go (why did you go), oh I need you so (I need you so)
Look I’m hurt and I want you to know (want you to know)
For others I put on a show (it’s just a show)

Now they’re some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
The tears of a clown when there’s no one around, uh
Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the crowd I try
But in my lonely room I cry
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around, oh yeah, baby
Now if there’s a smile on my face
Don’t let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Don’t let this smile I wear
Make you think that I don’t care
‘Cause really I’m sad

Songwriters: William Jr. Robinson / Stevie Wonder / Henry Cosby
Tears of a Clown lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Being With You ♫

Do we ever know why, somedays, we just have a song or an artist in our head that just won’t let go?  I’ve had a Smokey Robinson song in my head all day long … crying out for me to give voice to it, but since I didn’t want to set off another cat fight, I restrained myself and only whistled, rather than singing.  But alas, when it came time to put the song on ye olde blog tonight, I discovered I had played it just last year.  Okay, I’m flexible … I want Smokey Robinson and nobody else will do!

Speaking of Smokey Robinson, did you know that he will celebrate his 81st birthday next month???  So hard to believe!  There are people who are actually older than I am!!!

Robinson wrote this for Kim Carnes after she recorded his song More Love, which was produced by George Tobin. What Smokey didn’t know was that Carnes and Tobin were no longer working together, but instead of explaining that to Smokey, Tobin brought him in and convinced him to record the song himself.

Tobin had his own studio, and floated an unusual idea: he would record and produce the song as a Smokey Robinson solo effort. Robinson, who was one of the top Motown producers, had never been produced before as a solo act, but he went for the idea. They started work on the song that night and were finished the next day. The result was Robinson’s biggest hit as a solo artist, reaching #2 on the Hot 100. It was held out of the #1 spot in the US by Bette Davis Eyes, which was recorded by… Kim Carnes!  Talk about coincidence!

According to Scott Edwards, who played bass on this song …

“George Tobin, he went to Smokey Robinson and he told the Motown Machine that if they let him cover all the expenses for the session, play with the musicians, be totally economically responsible, then he wanted some huge percentage of the profit. And Motown, thinking, ‘This cat doesn’t know what he’s doing,’ and ‘How can we lose?’ they agreed to it. So he went in the studio and cut these tracks on Smokey and one of them was ‘Being With You.’ In the session, he would give us basic guidelines on what he felt different times. We’d throw things at him and he’d say, ‘Yeah, do that.’ So he was not a musical person at all, but he had a helper, a co-producer named Mike Piccirillo who was a guitar player. So between the two of them, they would let you know what they wanted.

He came up with the tune and he said, ‘Do this, Scott.’ So I did it and chordally it worked out. Then later on when I heard it, I said, They knew what they wanted. I didn’t, but they did. And it worked out. But they would give you guidelines and then if you had something better, they would leave you alone and let you go with it.

Smokey wrote the song, but as far as the interpretation of it, it was totally George Tobin and Piccirillo. That turned out to be one of Smokey’s biggest tunes, and Motown had to fork over part of that big percentage that they just knew was not going to work out.”

According to this song’s producer, George Tobin, Motown president Berry Gordy didn’t think this would do very well, but when it started to climb the charts he put a lot of promotion behind it. The song was unusual in that it was released on Motown Records, but through an arrangement with someone outside the company. On the single, it said, “Produced and arranged by George Tobin in association with Mike Piccirillo for George Tobin productions.

The song hit #1 in the UK, #2 in the U.S., and #5 in Canada.

Being With You
Smokey Robinson

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you

Honey don’t go, don’t leave this scene
Be out of the picture and off of the screen
Don’t let them say “we told you so”
They tell me you’ll love me and then let me go

I’ve heard the warning voice
From friends and my relations
They tell me all about your heart-break reputation

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say, no
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you

People can change, they always do
Haven’t they noticed the changes in you?
Or can it be, that like love I am blind?
Do I want it so much ’til it’s all in my mind?

One thing I know for sure
Is really really real
I never felt before the way you make me feel

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you
Being with you
Being with you

I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you
I wanna be with you

I don’t care if they start to avoid me

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: William Smokey Robinson Jr.

♫ What Becomes of the Brokenhearted ♫ (Redux)

It’s funny how sometimes a train of thought takes one down a track different than the one it started out on, isn’t it?  Tonight, having just finished my ‘good people’ post, I was feeling almost mellow and had a Supremes’ song stuck in my head … right now I cannot remember which one, nor do I have a clue how I got from the Supremees to Jimmy Ruffin.  But, here I am, and while I did play this before, it’s been two years, so most of you have forgotten anyway!  This is a song that somehow stirs emotions within me … good ones, mostly.  When I played this in 2018, most people agreed that both Ruffin’s and Paul Young’s versions were good, but still overwhelmingly chose Ruffin’s as their favourite.  For the record, I agree.


This song was written by Motown writers Jimmy Dean, Paul Riser, and William Witherspoon. They wrote it for The Detroit Spinners, but Jimmy Ruffin convinced the Motown writers to let him try it, and they liked what they heard. Ruffin is the brother of The Temptations’ David Ruffin, by the way.  Smokey Robinson produced the track.

Now, while many artists recorded this song, including The Supremes, I have two favourites and I am torn between the two, so I’m interested in your opinions.  The first is the original by Jimmy Ruffin, released in 1966.  This version hit #6 in the US and #10 in the UK.

In 1992, Paul Young recorded the song and, while it didn’t do as well as the Ruffin version, I still like it.  What do you guys think?  The Jimmy Ruffin version …

Or the Paul Young …

What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
Jimmy Ruffin/Paul Young

As I walk this land with broken dreams
I have visions of many things
But happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion
What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe

The roots of love grow all around
But for me they come a-tumblin’ down
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can’t stand this pain much longer
I walk in shadowsm searching for light
Cold and alone, no comfort in sight
Hoping and praying for someone to care
Always moving and goin’ nowhere
What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Help me

I’m searching, though I don’t succeed
But someone look, there’s a growing need
Oh, he is lost, there’s no place for beginning
All that’s left is an unhappy ending
Now, becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind

I’ll be searching everywhere
Just to find someone to care
I’ll be looking everyday, I know I’m gonna find a way
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
I’ll find a way somehow
And I’ll be searching everywhere
I know I gotta find a way
I’ll be looking

Songwriters: James Anthony Dean / Paul Riser / William Henry Witherspoonn
What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ The Tracks Of My Tears ♫

If you’ve read my rant from earlier this morning, you’ll know that I needed to de-stress, I needed peace … and when I need peace, when I need to remember to breathe, I turn to Motown.  I last played this one on Christmas Day, December 25th 2018, nearly two years ago. 


Miracles leader Smokey Robinson came up with the concept when he was looking in the mirror one day, and thinking, What if a person would cry so much that you could see tracks of their tears in their face?

Miracles members Smokey Robinson, Warren Moore, and Marv Tarplin wrote this song. Robinson penned the lyrics; Tarplin, The Miracles’ guitarist, came up with the riff. Robinson recalled: “‘Tracks of My Tears’ was actually started by Marv Tarplin, who is a young cat who plays guitar for our act. So he had this musical thing [sings melody], you know, and we worked around with it, and worked around, and it became ‘Tracks of My Tears.'”

Robinson had the music Tarplin wrote on a cassette, but it took him about six months to write the lyrics. The words started coming together when he came up with the line, “Take a good look at my face, you see my smile looks out of place.” From there, it was a few days before he got the lines, “If you look closer it’s easy to trace… my tears.”

What to do with those tears was a problem, as he wanted to say something no one has said about tears.

“One day I was listening, and it just came – the tracks of my tears.  Like footprints on my face. So that was what I wrote about.”

The Tracks of My Tears
The Miracles

People say I’m the life of the party
‘Cause I tell a joke or two
Although I might be laughing loud and hearty
Deep inside I’m blue

So take a good look at my face
You know my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears

I need you
Need you

Since you left me if you see me with another girl
Looking like I’m having fun
Although she may be cute, she’s just a substitute
‘Cause you’re the permanent one

So take a good look at my face
You know my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears

Outside I’m masquerading
Inside my hope is fading
I’m just a clown since you put me down
My smile is my make up
I wear since my break-up with you

Baby, take a good look at my face
You know my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears

Songwriters: Marvin Tarplin / Smokey Robinson / Warren Moore / William Robinson Jr.
The Tracks of My Tears lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC