Courtesy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Case Western Reserve University has just announced it will award an honorary degree to singer-songwriter William “Smokey” Robinson, the subject of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 20th Annual Music Masters Series. The school will present the award to Robinson at the tribute concert that takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Playhouse Square’s State Theatre. The tribute concert will come at the end of a week-long tribute to the R&B and soul singer-songwriter, producer and talent scout. The honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree acknowledges Robinson’s “musical and cultural contributions.”
“Smokey Robinson began working with Berry Gordy in the 1950s even before Motown Records existed, and has continued to make extraordinary music ever since,” President Barbara R. Snyder says in a press release. “His voice and lyrics captured joy, heartbreak and many other emotions that comprise the human condition. His story is testament to the power of talent, combined with dedication and support.”
The Rock Hall inducted Robinson, one of the first artists to record at Motown Records, in 1987. He’s known for classic tracks such as “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Shop Around,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “The Tracks of My Tears," “The Tears of a Clown" and "I Second That Emotion.”
“Conferring an honorary degree to Smokey Robinson is a singular form of recognition for one of the great multi-faceted entertainers of our time,” says Daniel Goldmark, director of the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve.