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Claudette Robinson Remembers The Miracles First Show at the Apollo

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Claudette Robinson - First Lady of Motown
02:57
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Claudette Robinson, The First Lady of Motown and an original Miracle, remembers The Miracles' first show at the Apollo which included Ray Charles' band not wanting to play their charts.
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I'm laughing because our very first appearance at the Apollo Theater was in 1958 and we're on our way to the show. We get there. First thing that happened is the band did not want to play for us. The band was Ray Charles and his band. He was the band for the entire show. Well, we're having rehearsal, and we give them what we consider our arrangements. Well, the band, you know, they're accomplished musicians, and they're like, What is this? Well, it was just lead sheets, you know? Well, that was our arrangements. That's all we had. So we gave it to them and they didn't want to play for us. There was a lot of back and forth conversation. So Mr Charles heard the disturbance and he came out. He asked. Actually, he asked Smoky, which he didn't know. Smokey was just somebody, um, what was wrong. And Smokey said, Well, you know, they won't play our music and does a and he said, Well, come over here, sing it to me. And he called his person over and said, Write down what I tell you, You know, as far as the notes and all well, his Mr Charles is Band member, wrote down the notes and really made an arrangement for us so that we could perform and the band would play because they were not going to play those chords. And that's it. And so I feel that that was our first official arrangements done by Mr Charles through his band member. So we got through that part, right? So the next thing is, how are we going to go on and off the stage? So we had three from stage left, two from stage, right? The band is playing, they're saying, And ladies and gentlemen, the miracles and we're like, Oh, you know, we come, we're running out, get to the middle of the stage and say, That's it. We just stopped the band and we start clapping for the next 12 bars. This is our routine. Is that choreography? We're new, we don't know. I mean, we quickly learned because we saw the other acts and what they did. But I tell you, when we got on that stage, the actually the manager of the Apollo Theater called Mister Gordy and said, I want my money back because these kids don't even know how to come on and off the stage. We can sing, but