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  1. #1

    Smokey's Soultown on Sirius XM--thoughts?

    I don't subscribe to Sirius XM, but whenever I travel and rent a car, I do my best to make sure the vehicle has Sirius XM so I can play it. In years past I would sometime listen to Soultown channel on the service and enjoyed the music and the DJs. I just got back from another vacation and this time I noticed that Sirius has rebranded Soultown as "Smokey's Soultown". The music is the same, but the DJs seem to be gone, and replaced with Smokey Robinson's remembrances. It's not the same. Especially when I compared it to the classic country Music channel "Willie's Roadhouse". Sure there are recorded bits from Willie Nelson, but there were DJs with a knowledge and love of the music and it made that channel a more rewarding listening experience than "Smokey's Soultown".

    What are your thoughts on the rebranded "Soultown" Sirius XM channel?

  2. #2
    It is better seems like more Motown songs, no DJ's which is a plus, would like to have just a Motown channel 24/7 but nice hearing Smokey's voice


    What are your thoughts on the rebranded "Soultown" Sirius XM channel?[/QUOTE]

  3. #3
    I thought Smokey would only be around for a while.

    I listen every day when I’m driving - I think it’s pretty good - not much different than Soul Town

  4. #4
    I don't listen to it very often but when I do, it is about the same. For me it is about the music. Now some of those other celebs that host shows, such as Tommy James and Peter Noone, well that is a different story. Those guys tend to talk too much and toot their own horns as opposed to making it about the music, but I have not caught Smokey doing that.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I don't listen to it very often but when I do, it is about the same. For me it is about the music. Now some of those other celebs that host shows, such as Tommy James and Peter Noone, well that is a different story. Those guys tend to talk too much and toot their own horns as opposed to making it about the music, but I have not caught Smokey doing that.
    I actually donít mind the stories of the other deejays; but I do agree, Smokey doesnít go in anywhere near as much with his stories.
    That makes me wonder why he had to start talking about his affair with Diana Ross when they were 20. It was probably to stir up some publicity for his album

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I actually don’t mind the stories of the other deejays; but I do agree, Smokey doesn’t go in anywhere near as much with his stories.
    That makes me wonder why he had to start talking about his affair with Diana Ross when they were 20. It was probably to stir up some publicity for his album
    The interviewer lied and told Smokey that Diana had discussed it in her book. Previously Smokey mostly denied it, even though he admitted dating her. He just didn't give a timeline. But I guess he figured if Diana owned up to it, he would as well.

  7. #7
    Have the channel preset in the car.
    imo Smokey is the perfect choice as the voice of the era. Great name recognition [everyone knows who "Smokey' is] and he represents not only his own career but also one of the most extensive labels of soul music.
    He sounds good too.

    Couldn't come up with anyone better to tie it all together.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 04-16-2024 at 11:02 AM.

  8. #8
    Is this put together by Fred Bronson? He told me about it but I cant get the show in Europe.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Is this put together by Fred Bronson? He told me about it but I cant get the show in Europe.
    No I donít think so; itís a channel on Sirius - they have hundreds of channels covering music and sports and many other categories

    I think Smokey is completely fine at his channel - I too donít know who would be better than Smokey

    Thanks Reese for the affair comments because Smokeyís comment went viral everywhere including every entertainment channel. As Iíve aged, I feel much like I heard Randy say he felt - the trash books and the trash talk is just that - a bunch of garbage. Is that what you want to be remembered for? Itís embarrassing. Are you proud that you say a lot of crap in books or interviews? It really leaves kind of a bad taste and it a shame you had to do that to sell your book or interview.

    I would much rather remember Gladys Knight for her voice instead of her complaints and controversies and the hassles with children, restaurants, religion.

  10. #10
    From what I've heard, they are now emphasizing the 60's and 70's and have lessened the 50s music. I hear more 70s funk and R&B. They have let go the soultown dj's, Jeff Foxx and Ken "Spider" Webb. Smokey's stories are "interesting", especially the ones regarding the Supremes - well, not the Supremes but Diana Ross. I'm writing from memory here:
    1. How Marv Tarplin joined the Miracles: Smokey asked Diana Ross if he could borrow her guitarist, and she said yes. They laugh about it years later, he says to her, I stole your guitar player.
    2. He hears a very young Diana Ross sing. He says to himself 'she has an interesting voice, when she grows up, a lot of people will want to hear her sing' or something to that effect.
    The rest of his stories about Motown are pretty much spot on. It's just the Diana Ross stories that make me go 'Mmmm'.

  11. #11
    Smokey was on today with stories of his best friends and best loved songs

    Jeffrey Osborne is his golf buddy

    Lionel is his brother - and one of Smokey’s best songs is Endless Love, for which he thinks Lionel won an Academy Award - um no

    He met Diana when she was 8 and brought her to Motown

    His favourite song of his brother Marvin Gaye is Mercy Mercy Me and he thinks What’s Going On might be Motown’s best selling album ever

    He graduated with Cecil Franklin and in their Grad year, he can remember they all jumped out of the car to dance to Booker T and the MG’s Green Onions

    Martha Reeves is his sister and he recently went to the Hollywood Star ceremony and was going to play an interview with her later - I missed it

    When he was visiting Berry Gordy with his son who is named after BG, a demo tape was delivered from Stevie Wonder - he wanted BG to listen to it and give his critique of it; it was Signed Sealed Delivered and Berry phoned Barney Ales and said “release it as is”

    Kind of sad - there are dozens of rock channels on Sirius and this is about the only Motown and Classic Soul channel

    Oh he talked about Gasms and said it was controversial from the beginning, but it only means “something nice”. He played the song Gasms - it won’t be amongst his classics

  12. #12
    Green Onions came out in 1962. Was this a song he danced to at his college graduation?

  13. #13
    Smokey didn't go to college so I guess he meant they went to high school together but 1962 was long past his high school.By 1962 The Miracles were HUGE Stars and Smokey a HUGE writer/producer, so he musta got confused about "Green Onions".

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Oh he talked about Gasms and said it was controversial from the beginning, but it only means “something nice”. He played the song Gasms - it won’t be amongst his classics

    "SOMETHING NICE" could've been an upgrade as the title, except ..
    .... I don't find the songs to be particularly nice.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    Smokey didn't go to college so I guess he meant they went to high school together but 1962 was long past his high school.By 1962 The Miracles were HUGE Stars and Smokey a HUGE writer/producer, so he musta got confused about "Green Onions".
    I could tell he was hesitant about some memories - like he thought Endless Love won an Academy Award and he thought WGO might be the best selling Motown album.

    Did he graduate high school in Ď62? Maybe he got that right.

    Another time he said show business is a small community and he knows all these people but his brothers and sisters are Lionel and Martha and Diana and Marvin and Stevie

  16. #16
    Today Smokey had a whole program on Motown celebrating Bacharach and David and the cuts were deep cuts - Chuck Jackson singing Any Day Now, the Supremes What the World Needs Now, the Miracles Anyone Who Had A Heart

    Smokey said when he and Diana were kids, he told her if you ever become famous, people will knows itís you after a couple of notes because your voice is so distinctive

    I know many of you would have loved this show

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Today Smokey had a whole program on Motown celebrating Bacharach and David and the cuts were deep cuts - Chuck Jackson singing Any Day Now, the Supremes What the World Needs Now, the Miracles Anyone Who Had A Heart

    Smokey said when he and Diana were kids, he told her if you ever become famous, people will knows it’s you after a couple of notes because your voice is so distinctive

    I know many of you would have loved this show
    What did Smokey Robinson have to say about Bacharach and David's songwriting?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    What did Smokey Robinson have to say about Bacharach and David's songwriting?
    They were the best and his good friends.

    The thing is all the people were his best friends that he loved. I enjoy listening for sure - I think the shows are repeated and available on the app. I just listen when Iím driving.

    However Smokeyís memory is clearly not infallible

  19. #19
    Today on Smokey's soultown, he talked about genius. He stated something like the word genius gets used a lot, and he said this particular person he thought was a genius in music and songwriting.
    I thought he was going to say Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder.
    He said Rick James was a genius [[in music). then they played Super Freak, which is of course a genius song, groundbreaking in so may ways...ha ha ha. I wanted to get out of my car and set it on fire after that remark. But that's his opinion, certainly not mine

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    They were the best and his good friends.

    The thing is all the people were his best friends that he loved. I enjoy listening for sure - I think the shows are repeated and available on the app. I just listen when I’m driving.

    However Smokey’s memory is clearly not infallible
    Doesn't sound he goes very indepth about their songs and how they were written/structured which is a shame given he's a noted songwriter himself and knows something about the topic.

    In a few weeks I'm renting another car for travel and hope to have Sirius in my vehicle. I'll once again listen to Soultown as well as Willie Nelson's Roadhouse channel and compare the two. Roadhouse still had DJs who know and love classic country back in March and their informed comments about songs and artists enriched that channel. Smokey's comments seem more about promoting nostalgia and nothing else.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    Doesn't sound he goes very indepth about their songs and how they were written/structured which is a shame given he's a noted songwriter himself and knows something about the topic.

    In a few weeks I'm renting another car for travel and hope to have Sirius in my vehicle. I'll once again listen to Soultown as well as Willie Nelson's Roadhouse channel and compare the two. Roadhouse still had DJs who know and love classic country back in March and their informed comments about songs and artists enriched that channel. Smokey's comments seem more about promoting nostalgia and nothing else.
    Definitely it is superficial and at times inaccurate - but itís fun and he obviously enjoys it and as Iíve said, he loves his colleagues

  22. #22
    Smokey has an interview with Berry on here - if you have the app, you can play it anytime

    I haven’t heard it - will have to see if I can get access

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