The Spectacle Blog

Marv Tarplin, R.I.P.

By on 10.2.11 | 12:38AM

Guitarist Marv Tarplin has passed away. As of this writing, his cause of death is unknown. Tarplin was 70.

You might not know Marv Tarplin's name but you probably know Smokey Robinson's name and if you're a fan of Smokey Robinson then you are a fan of Marv Tarplin. For fifty years, Tarplin played guitar alongside Smokey Robinson both with the Miracles and when Robinson became a solo act. Tarplin co-wrote many of Robinson's hits such as "The Tracks of My Tears", "Going to a Go-Go" and "Cruisin'". Tarplin also helped Robinson write "Ain't That Peculiar" and "I'll Be Doggone" for Marvin Gaye. I should note that "Ain't That Peculiar" is my favorite Marvin Gaye song.

On a personal note, I saw Robinson and Tarplin perform at the Ottawa Blues Fest in 1999. The highlight of the show was their performance of "Cruisin'" in which Robinson got the audience to sing along with him as Tarplin let his fingers do their magic. I wish I had video of it. You'll have to take my word.

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