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Bobby Rogers, 73; helped found Miracles

Bobby Rogers (behind his cousin Claudette) cowrote some classic Motown songs with Smokey Robinson (front, right). Other members of the Miracles were Marv Tarplin (back) and Ronnie White.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Bobby Rogers (behind his cousin Claudette) cowrote some classic Motown songs with Smokey Robinson (front, right). Other members of the Miracles were Marv Tarplin (back) and Ronnie White.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Bobby Rogers, a founding member of Motown group The Miracles and a songwriting collaborator with Smokey Robinson, died Sunday at his suburban Detroit home. He was 73.

Motown Museum board member Allen Rawls said Mr. Rogers died about 6 a.m. in Southfield. He had been ill for several years.

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Mr. Rogers formed the group in 1956 with cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White, and Robinson. Their hits included ‘‘Shop Around,’’ “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,’’ “The Tracks of My Tears,’’ “Going to a Go-Go,’’ “I Second That Emotion,’’ and ‘‘The Tears of a Clown.’’

‘‘Another soldier in my life has fallen. Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend,’’ Robinson said Sunday 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,’’ Robinson said.

Claudette Rogers told the Detroit Free Press that everyone was drawn to her cousin’s personality.

‘‘People always commented on the tall one with the glasses,’’ she said. ‘‘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.’’

His voice can be heard on Marvin Gaye’s ‘‘What’s Going On,’’ with Mr. Rogers saying, ‘‘It’s just a groovy party, man; I can dig it.’’

Mary Wilson of the Supremes said that captured his essence.

‘‘If people want to remember him, they should put that record on and listen to Bobby,’’ Wilson told the newspaper. ‘‘That’s who he was.’’

Mr. Rogers and The Miracles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He was too ill to attend the ceremony.

He shared songwriting credits with 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.’’

Funeral arrangements through James H. Cole Home were incomplete Sunday.

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