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     White, Ronnie (5th April 1939-26th August 1995)

    He was a singer-songwriter born Ronald White in Detroit, Michigan. 

     

    While young he and his school friend Smokey Robinson began singing together from the time they were in fifth grade and while still in high school in 1955 they began The Five Chimes with three others.  Six months later they became The Matadors with a changed line-up and after they began recording they changed their name once again to The Miracles. 

     

    They were signed up to the Tamla label, which had been established by Berry Gordy Jr. after the encouragement of Smokey Robinson, and before long they were achieving hit after hit in the charts.  These included “You Really Got A Hold On Me”, “I Like It Like That”, “Going to a Go-Go”. “Tracks of My Tears“ and “Tears of a Clown”.  During the earlier years at Motown he also recorded in a duo with Smokey Robinson and their releases went out under the guise of Ron & Bill. 

     

    At the same time he discovered and introduced his 11-year old neighbour, Steveland Morris, to Berry Gordy Jr. who was so impressed he gave him a contract.  He would become one of the most well-known and successful American artists going by the name Stevie Wonder.  

     

    His songwriting skills were also successful when he collaborated with Smokey Robinson and other group members on hits such as “You Beat Me to the Punch” by Mary Wells, “My Girl” and “Don’t Look Back” by The Temptations and “Ain’t That Peculiar” by Marvin Gaye.  He remained with the group after the departure of Smokey Robinson and in 1978 The Miracles hit “Love Machine” became their most successful. 

     

    He went his own way after the group had all but disbanded in the 1980s and became a successful real estate developer.  He died in Detroit at the young age of 56 after having lost his battle with leukaemia but his singing and songwriting will always be remembered.  

     

    He was a BMI Award winning songwriter and features on the 2006 DVD Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: The Definitive Performances 1963-1987.  He will also be recognised with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with the Miracles in 2009, which will be their 50th anniversary.

     

    The Miracles recordings

    Love Machine (Part 1)/Love Machine (Part 2) (UK 45)

    Tamla Motown TMG 1015

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_White
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Miracles
    3. http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Stevie_Wonder/id/1897147
    4. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1042230/
    5. http://www.soul-patrol.com/soul/smokey.htm
    6. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CEEDF163CF93BA1575BC0A963958260
    7. http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/Miracles.html
    8. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0jfixqlgldde

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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