To be transported back in time for just one evening... joy, pure joy. Last night, our daughter Jessie accompanied Dick and I to the Polk Theatre in downtown Lakeland, Florida for a two hour Smokey Robinson concert. Smokey Robinson... imagine!
In the 1,400 seat Mediterranean-looking village theatre, that was built in 1928 when Lakeland was yet a rural community of 15,000 people, "stars" twinkled on the ceiling's "night sky". (The photo below is courtesy of the Polk Theatre web site.)
I neglected to bring my camera the night of the performance, so I returned the next afternoon to see, if by chance, the marquee would still announce Smokey's concert. As indicated in the top photo, I was overjoyed to see that it was still there. The theatre doors were locked, but as I peered through the glass... there was Smokey smiling back at me. Well, O.K., a poster of him smiling back at me, but somehow that was good enough to partially remove the sense of emptiness I felt. The theatre had been so alive the night before with this truly amazing Motown legend commandeering the stage. However, as quickly as he came into town, he was gone. The memory, though... that will remain.
A little Smokey Robinson history from The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida's daily newspaper) April 7, 2011... Robinson was born in Detroit in 1940. He formed the Matadors in the early 1950s, which later became The Miracles. He met record producer Berry Gordy, Jr. by chance, leading to a contract with Motown Records. The Miracles made their first big hit, "Shop Around," in 1960, and the hits kept on coming. Some of those songs include "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" (1962), "The Tracks of My Tears (1965), "I Second That Emotion" (1967), and "The Tears of a Clown" (1970). Robinson also composed and produced songs for other Motown stars, such as the Temptations and Marvin Gaye. He went solo in 1972 and recorded hits such as "Get Ready" (1979), "Cruisin" (1979),"Being With You" (1981), and "Just to See Her" (1987).