The Motown music family has suffered yet another loss. Singer and songwriter Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the Miracles, passed away on Sunday at his suburban home in Detroit, reports the Associated Press.
Rogers is the third former Motown artists to die within the last two weeks, following the deaths of Temptations' members Otis "Damon" Harris and Richard Street. Motown Museum board member Allen Rawls told the AP that Rogers died around 6 a.m. after battling an undisclosed illness for several years.
Rogers formed the legendary group in 1956 with cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White and lead singer Smokey Robinson. Before the group disbanded in the late 1970s, they recorded hits that included "Shop Around," "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," "The Tracks of My Tears" and "The Tears of a Clown." The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, but Rogers was too sick to attend.
"Another soldier in my life has fallen. Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend," said Robinson in a statement. "He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much."
Claudette Rogers added that it was her cousin's charismatic personality that helped bring everyone together.
"People always commented on the tall one with the glasses," she told the Detroit Free Press. "He was personable, approachable and he loved talking to the women, loved talking to the guys, loved to dance, loved to sing, loved to perform. That was the joy of his life."
As a songwriter Rogers shared credits with Smokey Robinson on the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do," The Contours' "First I Look at the Purse" and The Miracles' "Going to a Go-Go." His voice can be heard on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," with Rogers saying, "It's just a groovy party, man, I can dig it."
"If people want to remember him, they should put that record on and listen to Bobby," Mary Wilson of the Supremes said of Rogers' life-of-the-party persona. "That's who he was."
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(Photo: Gilles Petard/Redferns)