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Smokey Robinson Guitarist Marv Tarplin Dead at 70

The Rolling Stone Blog

Marv Tarplin, the Motown guitarist and songwriter behind Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, died on Friday at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 70. His cause of death has not yet been determined.

began his career at Motown in the late Fifties as the guitarist in the
Primettes, a teenage girl group that later evolved into the Supremes. He
was drafted into Robinson's band, where he would go on to write the
memorable chord progression at the center of the group's classic hit
"Tracks of My Tears."

Photos: Random Notes

In addition to his work with Robinson, Tarplin collaborated with Marvin Gaye
on the hits "I'll Be Doggone" and "Ain't That Peculiar." The guitarist
never stopped working with Robinson, continuing to write, record and
perform with the singer until Tarplin's retirement in 2008.


Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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