Caught by the River

Jeb’s Jukebox

Jeb Loy Nichols | 14th August 2018

Smokey Robinson And The Miracles
Special Occasion

I was told, years ago, a story about Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder.

Stevie, at the age of 14, decided he wanted to be a songwriter, so he went to the greatest songwriter in the world for advice.  Smokey Robinson.

First, let’s pause while we picture that.  Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson.  In the mid-sixties.  In Detroit.  Together.  Get to the joy and magnitude of that.

How do you do it, asked Stevie, how’s it done?

Smokey in his sharkskin suit took a minute, shook his head and said, I don’t know.  I only know this.  Do what you do.  Get up everyday and do that thing.  If you’re a plumber, get up and go to work.  If you’re a gardener, get up everyday and plant stuff.  If you’re a painter, get up and paint.  If you’re a songwriter, write.  Every day.  Most of them won’t be great but at least you’ll be what you say you are.  You’ll be a songwriter.

Great advice.

Be the thing you say you are.  Every day.

Smokey knew what he was talking about.  Do squirrels take a day off?  Do crows?  Does the wind?  Does rust?  Does tao?  Does grass not, every day, do what grass does?

He was saying be present in your own life.  Be the thing you say you are and take that thing seriously.  And to prove that he knew what he was talking about, he wrote a country full of songs.  He got up, went into the studio and wrote.

So thanks Smokey, this one’s for you.


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