The Temptations Unisex T-Shirt
Finally, a way to show your respect for some of the greatest icons, legends and pioneers that paved the way past and present. Rock this gear in style and bring back the moments that made you, memories they gave you and/or lessons they taught you. Scroll down for a history lesson with some of our favorite clips.
Welcome to the Respect Due family The Temptations! We salute you.
- 4.2 oz., 100% airlume combed and ringspun cotton
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The Original Leads of the Temptations (1992)
The Temptations are an American vocal group who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single “Cloud Nine” in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.
Featuring five male vocalists and dancers (save for brief periods with fewer or more members), the group formed in 1960 in Detroit, Michigan under the name The Elgins. The founding members came from 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” (1969) 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“.
Over the course of their career, the Temptations released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and fourteen R&B number-one singles. Their music has earned three Grammy Awards. The Temptations were the first Motown recording act to win a Grammy Award – for “Cloud Nine” in 1969 – and in 2013 received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Six of the Temptations (Edwards, Franklin, Kendricks, Ruffin, Otis Williams and Paul Williams) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Three classic Temptations songs, “My Girl”, “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)“, and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone“, are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The Temptations were ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.
As of 2018, the Temptations continues to perform with founder Otis Williams in the lineup (Williams owns the rights to the Temptations name).
The Temptations Papa Was A Rolling Stone 1972 Single Version
Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams started singing together in church as children. By their teenage years, they formed a doo-wop quartet in 1955 with Kell Osborne and Wiley Waller, naming themselves the Cavaliers.
After Waller left the group in 1957, the remaining trio left Birmingham to break into the music business. The group settled in Detroit where they changed their name to the Primes under the direction of Milton Jenkins. The Primes soon became well known around the Detroit area for their meticulous performances. Jenkins later created a sister group, The Primettes, later known as the Supremes. Kendricks was already seen as a “matinee idol” in the Detroit area while Williams was well received for his baritone vocals. Texas teenager Otis Williams moved to Detroit as a youngster to be with his mother.
By 1958, Williams was the leader of a vocal group named Otis Williams and the Siberians. The group included Elbridge “Al” Bryant, James “Pee-Wee” Crawford, Vernard Plain and Arthur Walton. The group recorded a song, “Pecos Kid” for a label run by radio deejay Senator Bristol Bryant. Shortly after its release, the group changed its name to The El Domingoes. Following this, Montgomery native Melvin Franklin replaced Arthur Walton as bass vocalist and Detroit-born Richard Street (claimed by Melvin Franklin to be his cousin) replaced Vernard Plain as lead singer. Signing with Johnnie Mae Matthews‘ Northern Records, the group had their name changed again to The Distants.
The group recorded two Northern singles including “Come On” (1959) and “Alright” (1960). Between these releases, Albert “Mooch” Harrell replaced Pee-Wee Crawford. “Come On” became a local hit and the Warwick Records label picked the record up for national distribution. Following the release of “Alright”, Matthews appointed Williams the group leader, and the group’s name was changed to Otis Williams & The Distants. During this period, both the Primes and Distants were influenced by other vocal groups including the Miracles. Other inspirations included the Cadillacs, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, the Drifters, and the Isley Brothers. Though “Come On” was a local hit in the Detroit area, the Distants never saw much record sales and “Alright” was not as successful. After receiving an offer from Berry Gordy to sign with Motown Records, the Distants got out of their contract with Northern Records. However, Mooch Harrell and Richard Street shortly departed from the group and the remaining members lost use of the Distants name. Richard Street later formed another Distants group who recorded for the Thelma label in the early 1960s.
The Original Leads Of The Temptations (Documentary)
The Temptations: My Girl and The Way You Do The Things You Do 1965
The Temptations Get Ready RARE clip, Very good quality
The Temptations – Treat Her Like A Lady (Official Video)
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