Jul 15, 2017 | 8PM
The Temptations are the embodiment of harmony, dignity and class. They are the most popular male vocal and soul group in the world. And they have influenced every ensemble that has followed in their footsteps, from old-schoolers the Delfonics to New Edition, from Jodeci, to BLACKstreet, and from Dru Hill to one of the biggest selling artists in history, Boyz II Men.
The Temptations were born in Detroit in 1961, a marriage of members of the Distants and the Primes, and signed to Motown. “Dream Come True” became the group’s first chart hit, peaking at no. 22 R&B in 1962. Baritone Otis Williams, bass Melvin Franklin and tenors Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams (no relation to Otis) were joined in late 1963 by tenor David Ruffin. Recording with writer/producer Smokey Robinson, they helped define the Motown Sound. In 1964, they emerged with the pop smash “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” with Kendricks in the lead. In 1965, “My Girl,” led by Ruffin, became their first no. 1 pop and R&B hit, and their first signature song. Other hits with Smokey writing and producing were “It’s Growing,” “Since I Lost My Baby,” “My Baby” and “Don’t Look Back.”
They hit no. 1 R&B again with “Get Ready” in 1966. While guided by harder-edged, hard-driving producer Norman Whitfield, the Temptations scored the soul soundtrack for the late sixties with the hits “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep,” “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” “You’re My Everything” and “I Wish It Would Rain.”