Warren “Pete” Moore, an original member of legendary Motown group the Miracles — who were responsible for such ’60s classics as “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Shop Around” — died Sunday (Nov. 19). He was 78.
Moore’s passing was confirmed by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy in a statement to Rolling Stone, though no cause of death was given.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Warren ‘Pete’ Moore, a fine human being and valued member of the Motown family,” Gordy told Rolling Stone. “Pete was an original member of my very first group, the Miracles. He was a quiet spirit with a wonderful Bass voice behind Smokey Robinson’s soft, distinctive lead vocals, and was co-writer on several of the Miracles hits.”
Moore, a childhood friend of Miracles lead singer Robinson, was a founding member of the group, which emerged from high school buddies in the mid-’50s in Detroit, Michigan. While the group went through several shifts in lineup over the years — even changing its name to the Matadors, before settling on the Miracles — Moore remained with the group until their dissolution in 1978, and was one of its most prolific songwriters. That includes co-writing Hot 100 No. 1 hits like “Love Machine” and “The Tears Of A Clown,” along with the memorable “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Ooo Baby Baby.”
But Moore was influential to rhythm and blues, rock and hip-hop outside the Miracles as well, helping pen classics for The Temptations (“It’s Growing,” “Since I Lost My Baby”) and early Marvin Gaye smashes “Ain’t That Peculiar” and “I’ll Be Doggone.” Moore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the rest of the original Miracles, in 2012.
Relive some of the group’s most beloved classics, below.