Music

The Temptations

Formed 1960.

Motown soul vocal group

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Otis Williams - Interview with Craig Charles

Otis Williams, the only original member of The Temptations, talks to Craig.

Featured in BBC Music Clips
 

Biography

The Temptations are an American vocal group known for their success with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. Known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy wardrobe, the group was highly influential to the evolution R&B and soul music. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history. As of 2014[update], the Temptations continue to perform with one living original member, Otis Williams, still in the lineup.

Featuring five male vocalists and dancers (save for brief periods with less or more members), the group formed in 1960 in Detroit, Michigan under the name "The Elgins". The original founding members were originally members of two rival Detroit vocal groups: Otis Williams, Elbridge "Al" Bryant, and Melvin Franklin of Otis Williams & the Distants, and Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams of The Primes. In 1964, Bryant was replaced by David Ruffin, who was the lead vocalist on a number of the group's biggest hits, including "My Girl" (1964), "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" (1966), and "I Wish It Would Rain" (1967). Ruffin was replaced in 1968 by Dennis Edwards, with whom the group continued to record hit records such as "Cloud Nine" (1968) and "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World is Today)" (1970). The group's lineup has changed frequently since the departures of Kendricks and Paul Williams from the act in 1971. Later members of the group have included singers such as Richard Street, Damon Harris, Ron Tyson, and Ali-Ollie Woodson, with whom the group scored a late-period hit in 1984 with "Treat Her Like a Lady".

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Cloud Nine

    Cloud Nine 1969

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    From Cloud Nine onwards, Motown were back at the forefront of American popular music.
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