Warren "Pete" Moore Was a Miracle

The Miracles at a press event. Pete Moore is on the right.
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Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images

While Smokey Robinson was the man whose beautiful voice powered The Miracles - and gave Detroit's Motown Record Corporation its first million-selling single in "Shop Around" - Robinson didn't do his best work alone.

One of his most notable collaborators, both a singer in The Miracles and a songwriting partner of Smokey's who added several hits to the Motown library, was Warren "Pete" Moore. The two had been friends since they were children in Detroit, and formed The Miracles together in 1955. After Smokey withdrew from the group to work as a Motown executive - and later, a solo artist - Moore kept the group afloat alongside original members Bobby Rogers and Ronnie White, even helping the group find a new direction and some surprising hits through the '70s.

READ MORE: "Tears of a Clown" Helped Smokey Robinson Bid Farewell to The Miracles

Although Moore passed away on his 79th birthday in 2017, his work still stands tall, as a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and all-around beloved songwriter. Here's a few of Pete's songs that Motown fans will truly treasure.

Marvin Gaye, "I'll Be Doggone": The mellow Marvin Gaye struggled to find his footing at Motown in the early '60s, trying his hardest to balance the label's style with his desire to croon. Things finally turned around in 1965 with the release of the Holland-Dozier-Holland gem "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You)," and "I'll Be Doggone," written by Smokey, Pete and fellow Miracle Marv Tarplin, kept the hot streak going. The track becoming Gaye's third career Top 10 hit.

The Miracles, "Ooo Baby Baby": "In the songs that Smokey and I wrote together, Smokey and Berry kinda left the background vocals to me," Moore explained of his process in 2006. Inspired by The Imperials' "I'm on the Outside (Looking In)," Moore wanted to add that sort of plaintive sound to this heartsick song about a lover's mistake. The result was another smash hit for the group, reaching No. 4 in 1965.

The Temptations, "Since I Lost My Baby": Smokey Robinson and Ronnie White gave The Temptations' their signature hit with "My Girl" in 1964, establishing Smokey as one of Motown's most formidable writers. A year later, Smokey and Pete teamed up for two underrates singles by the group: "It's Growing," and this lovelorn classic, "Since I Lost My Baby."

The Miracles, "The Tracks of My Tears": The Miracles' next hit co-written by Moore was another sentimental stunner written by the Smokey-Pete-Marv trifecta. It and "Ooo Baby Baby" remain among the group's most notable singles, having both been interpreted brilliantly by pop/rock singer Linda Ronstadt.

Marvin Gaye, "Ain't That Peculiar": The Miracles' trifecta made magic for Marvin one more time in 1965 with a rumination on love gone wrong with a killer backing performance from Motown's in-house band The Funk Brothers. It exactly matched the success of "I'll Be Doggone" earlier that year, hitting No. 8 on Billboard's Hot 100 and topping the R&B survey.

The Miracles, "Love Machine": In 1975, several years after Smokey left The Miracles and singer Billy Griffin replaced him, Griffin and Pete had an unlikely hit with "Love Machine," a driving dance floor-filler that sent the group headfirst into disco styles, became their bestselling song - and did something the group only did once before: enjoy a No. 1 pop hit.

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