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(1970 TV Special)

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  • This was a 1970 ABC Television special starring SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES. It featured special guest stars THE TEMPTATIONS, STEVIE WONDER, and THE (post DIANA ROSS) SUPREMES. It was essentially a LAUNCHING PAD for SMOKEY'S SOLO CAREER....to prepare the public for his upcoming departure from the legendary MIRACLES ,the very FIRST of the great MOTOWN GROUPS, that was actually formed in 1955 ...and went professional in 1957,with WARREN "PETE" MOORE,BOBBY ROGERS, RONNIE WHITE, MARV TARPLIN, & his future wife (and BOBBY'S cousin) CLAUDETTE ROGERS. SMOKEY did actually leave the group 2 years later. It should have been a celebration of his years with THE MIRACLES and their collective accomplishments.However, this special,seemed to showcase all the other artists talents rather than those of the MIRACLES, who were not at full strength at the time the special was filmed. CLAUDETTE was not present ,MARV TARPLIN was not featured on camera, and PETE MOORE was also absent , having been sidelined with a leg injury shortly before filming. So, with only SMOKEY,BOBBY AND RONNIE present, the occasion left MIRACLES FANS dissatisfied at best. However TEMPTATIONS fans were ecstatic,with their favorites , who were all present,(including DAVID RUFFIN'S replacement, DENNIS EDWARDS), having performed a powerful rendition of their latest hit "BALL OF CONFUSION", Temptation PAUL WILLIAMS however , was visibly ill ,and left the group permanently later the next year,as did original member EDDIE KENDRICKS.The SUPREMES performed one of their hits,as did STEVIE.THE MIRACLES opened the show with their 1963 TOP 10 SMASH "MICKEY'S MONKEY",and later did a medley which included their big hits "GOING TO A GO GO" and "IF YOU CAN WANT".Later, The entire troupe sat and reminisced Motown memories of the early days and touring with the legendary MOTORTOWN REVUE shows of the early '60s.This special is rarely remembered today, and other than the TEMPTATIONS' performance, which has just been released as part of the 2006 DVD : THE TEMPTATIONS GET READY : THE DEFINITIVE DVD PERFORMANCES,has not been seen at all since it's original 1970 network broadcast.Hopefully one day it will be released on DVD .Overall a good , but not great special. SMOKEY AND THE MIRACLES deserved a much better send-off.

    Bill G.

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