“Ooo Baby Baby” didn’t hit the top of the chart, or even sell a million copies, but it was one of THE songs of the summer in 1965.
Despite a baby-talk title, the song starts melancholy and doesn’t waver. An unfaithful Smokey Robinson is heartbroken, miserable and penitent. Check out the way he sings the word “crying” at the end of each verse, echoing Roy Orbison’s heart-wrenching single of the same name. Robinson’s creamy vocals help the pain go down smoother, but the way the last note is left hanging, it’s clear there is no hope or delivery ahead.
And yet, Robinson and Pete Moore’s song was one of the most-played songs of the summer, and one of the Miracles’ most-covered tunes. Linda Ronstadt found a 1979 hit with the number, but not before Ella Fitzgerald, the Five Stairsteps and a slew of others tried their hands. – by Joel Francis