Fans can get a historic last glimpse of several founding members of Motown’s Miracles Thursday night on the T.J. Lubinsky-produced music program “Pop, Rock & Soul,” at 11 p.m. on Detroit Public Television, Channel 56 (WTVS). The show repeats at 9 p.m. Friday, 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday on the station.
The concert will feature what could be Miracle Bobby Rogers’ last onstage appearance with the group.
Rogers, one of the original Miracles and a prolific co-writer with Smokey Robinson (they co-wrote “First I Look at the Purse” for the Contours), has been in failing health for some time. But he was able to perform with the group, including original member Claudette Robinson, and newer Miracles, lead singer Mark Scott, Tee Turner and Dave Finley, at the taping in Pittsburgh earlier this year.
The Miracles were Smokey Robinson’s original group at Motown, and the unique harmonies of Rogers, Robinson, Ronald White and Pete Moore were integral to songs like “Shop Around,” “Oo Baby Baby,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” and their other hits, as was the guitar playing of Marv Tarplin, who died recently in Las Vegas.
Robinson split from the Miracles in 1972 to go solo.
It’s been a tough few years for the Miracles. Apart from the death of Tarplin, the group is conspicuously absent from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although Smokey Robinson is in — as a solo act. By any standards, it’s hard to separate Smokey from the Miracles. Most of his best-known hits date from when he and the Miracles formed a tight unit, but chances of the Miracles getting in seem to grow dimmer every year.