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Soundcheck: Smokey Robinson

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1. His real first name is William; his nickname was given so he’d never forget his black heritage. (Irony alert: He’s rumored to have undergone chemical peels to lighten his skin.)

2. His great-nephew, Duke, played football at our own University of Oklahoma, starting in 2005. Sooooonerrrrrs!

3. UK New Wave band ABC’s 1987 hit “When Smokey Sings” was about him, but what’s odd is that it sat in Billboard’s Top 10 at the same time as one of Robinson’s own, the synth-ballad “One Heartbeat.” (Tangent: I used to think the chorus to ABC’s song went, “When Smokey sings / I hear violence.”)

4. He’s the first R&B singer to release a CD through Cracker Barrel. Repeat: Cracker Barrel.

5. His favorite movie? It sure isn’t 2006’s Oscar-winning “Dreamgirls,” parts of which he found “very, very, very offensive.”

For more information, visit luckystarcasino.org and myfirstwin.com. —Rod Lott

Editor’s Note: A photo in last week’s Gazette was incorrectly identified as My So-Called Band. We regret the error.

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