EXPIRED: 09/30/11 – Marv Tarplin, 70, was just a teenage from Detroit, Michigan who played guitar for a local all-girl vocal group known as The Primettes, who got an audition with Motown. They played for Smokey Robinson, lead singer of the Miracles. Robinson loved the Primettes, and suggested they change their name to The Supremes, but he loved Tarplin more and stole him away from the girls.
Smokey referred to Tarplin as The Miracles’ “secret weapon.” As a songwriter, Tarplin co-composed many of the Miracles’ hit singles, including the million-selling Grammy Hall of Fame winner “The Tracks of My Tears” for which he received the ASCAP Award Of Merit in 1965. Other hits were “My Girl Has Gone,” “I Like It Like That,” “Going to a Go-Go,” and “The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage.
He also co-wrote Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar” and “I’ll Be Doggone,” and “One More Heartache.”
Tarplin left the Miracles in 1973, shortly after Smokey Robinson went solo, and continued to collaborate with his old boss on
Robinson and Tarplin continued to collaborate as writers on Robinson’s solo recordings, including “Cruisin'” and “Being with You.”
In 1987, Smokey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. The Miracles met the qualifications, as did Robinson, but the band have not, to date, been inducted.
Tarplin retired from touring in 2008.