Smokey Robinson’s acknowledgement in the world of country music continues with news that he is to perform at the Ryman Auditorium on December 16. The show at the “mother church of country music” will take place as part of his Music & Memories tour.
Tickets for the upcoming Ryman show are priced at $75-$300 and will be on sale from 10am on Friday (22). Now aged 82, the Motown stalwart played to a huge country audience at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, CA in April. When announced on that bill, he said: “I’ve been a fan of country music forever…I couldn’t be more excited to have been invited to the party.”
A country influence
The engagement will see Robinson at a venue at which he was honored last year during the National Museum of African American Music’s Celebration of Legends, but was unable to attend personally. Other country connections include his collaboration with Cam on an episode of CMT Crossroads in 2018. In the lead-up to the special, Cam said: “I grew up listening to Smokey Robinson. My dad used to walk around the house singing his songs and I would try to harmonize along with him and Smokey so it’s kinda insane that I’m getting to do this.”
In December 2015, Robinson sang with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. In two special shows, he sang some of his Motown favorites, holiday classics, and more, at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Robinson has numerous live shows before he arrives in Nashville, including at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ on July 27, Hanover Hills, MD (29), and Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT on July 30. Selected shows continue through the summer and fall, with details at his website. “Having the best time performing for all of you!”, the great songwriter-musician posted earlier this month. “When are you coming to see me on tour?”