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Hear Smokey Robinson Tell the Secrets Behind ‘My Girl’ and Other Motown Classics

Listen to our definitive interview with the Motown legend on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast

Smokey Robinson performs in concert at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Philadelphia.

Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

One of the greatest songwriters ever, Smokey Robinson, looks back on his singular career in the latest episode of our Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, breaking down his artistic process and telling vivid tales of how he wrote “Shop Around,” “My Girl,” “My Guy,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” and many other classic songs. Robinson, who has a new autobiographical Audible release, Smokey Robinson: Grateful and Blessed, out now, also talks about the early days of Motown Records, his friendships with Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Berry Gordy, his collaboration with Rick James, and much more.

“There are no new words,” says Robinson. “There are no new notes. My thoughts as a songwriter have always been this: ‘How can I say ‘I love you’ in a way like it’s never been said?’”

To hear the entire episode, press play below, or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out three years’ worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Neil Young, Phoebe Bridgers, the National, Dua Lipa, Alicia Keys, Questlove, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Justin Townes Earle,  Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Eddie Van Halen, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr., and many more — plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates, and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast on SiriusXM’s Volume, channel 106.

From Rolling Stone US