Category: the temptations

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Vintage R&B Concert Posters

1. Memorial Auditorium (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – November 16, 1954

2. Memorial Auditorium (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – June 10, 1959

3. Oakland Auditorium (Oakland, California) – February 8, 1963

4. Exhibition Garden (Vancouver, B.C., Canada) – June 26, 1964

5. Wilmer’s Park (Brandywine, Maryland) – July 25, 1965

6. Veterans Memorial Auditorium (Columbus, Ohio) – October 25, 1965

7. Carr’s Beach (Annapolis, Maryland) – June 26, 1966

8. Civic Auditorium (Knoxville, Tennessee) – March 31, 1967

9. Shelby County Fairgrounds (Shelbina, Missouri) – July 27, 1968

10. Norfolk Arena (Norfolk, Virginia) – November 22, 1969

On this day in music history: December 2, 1972 – “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” by The Temptations hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written and produced by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the fourth and final number one pop single for the veteran Motown vocal group. The song is originally recorded by The Undisputed Truth (“Smiling Faces Sometimes”) in 1971 with their version peaking at #24 on the R&B singles chart and #63 on the Hot 100. When The Temptations hear the track for the first time, initially they are unhappy with the songs’ extended intro (the first vocal doesn’t begin until nearly four minutes into the LP version and nearly two minutes into the single version). The opening lyric (“It Was the third of September, that day I’ll always remember, yes I will. ‘Cause that was the day, that my daddy died.”) is particularly upsetting to lead singer Dennis Edwards. Though Edwards father died on the third of October (not the third of September as was the often repeated legend), it still hits a little too close to home. Ever the hard driving perfectionist in the studio, Whitfield has the group recut their vocals numerous times much to their annoyance, though it results in the performance captured on the finished record. The twelve minute long album track is edited down to just under seven minutes for single release. In spite of its length, the record is an across the board smash. “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” wins three Grammy Awards including Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group, Best R&B Instrumental Performance, and Best R&B Song in 1973. “Papa” is covered numerous times over the years including a version by musician Bill Wolfer in 1982 that features Michael Jackson on background vocals. George Michael also perform the song as part of a medley with Adamski and Seal’s song “Killer” in 1992 at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and released on the EP “Five Live”. “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: October 25, 1968 – “Cloud Nine” by The Temptations is released. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the twenty fourth single release for the legendary Motown vocal quintet. After lead vocalist David Ruffin is fired from The Temptations in June of 1968, he is replaced by former Contours (“Do You Love Me?”, “First I Look At The Purse”) member Dennis Edwards. With the new addition, producer Norman Whitfield takes the opportunity to take the group in a new musical direction. Using the template of Sly & The Family Stone’s recent hit “Dance To The Music” (at the suggestion of Temptations leader Otis Williams), with its funky and driving back beat, along with the band’s unique habit of having several members taking a turn at lead vocals in the course of a song, inspired him to try something similar with the Tempts. Lyrically, “Cloud Nine” is different from anything previously released by Motown, with its narrative about being poor and disaffected, looking for an escape and release from that situation. The basic track for the song is cut at Golden World in Detroit (Motown Studio B) with members of The Funk Brothers on October 1, 1968. Whitfield also hires another young Detroit based guitarist named Dennis Coffey to play the signature wah wah guitar part on the song. Dubbed “psychedelic soul” by music critics and the public, the single marks the beginning of a new era for The Temptations, quickly racing up the R&B and pop charts immediately after its release. Issued in mono for the single release, the 45 mix of “Cloud Nine” differs significantly from its stereo counterpart. For The Tempts vocal coda at the songs conclusion, most of the instrumentation accept for the hi-hat cymbals drop out of the mix, as the group sings to the fade out. “Cloud Nine” peaks at #2 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #6 on the Hot 100 in January of 1969. It also wins The Temptations a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Group Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental in 1969, making them the first Motown artists to receive that honor. “Cloud Nine” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

Vintage R&B Concert Posters

1. Memorial Auditorium (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – November 16, 1954

2. Memorial Auditorium (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – June 10, 1959

3. Oakland Auditorium (Oakland, California) – February 8, 1963

4. Exhibition Garden (Vancouver, B.C., Canada) – June 26, 1964

5. Wilmer’s Park (Brandywine, Maryland) – July 25, 1965

6. Veterans Memorial Auditorium (Columbus, Ohio) – October 25, 1965

7. Carr’s Beach (Annapolis, Maryland) – June 26, 1966

8. Civic Auditorium (Knoxville, Tennessee) – March 31, 1967

9. Shelby County Fairgrounds (Shelbina, Missouri) – July 27, 1968

10. Norfolk Arena (Norfolk, Virginia) – November 22, 1969

On this day in music history: October 18, 1969 – “I Can’t Get Next To You” by The Temptations hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 5 weeks on October 4, 1969. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the ninth R&B chart topper and second pop number one for the Motown vocal quintet. On a roll after changing lead vocalists and going in a bold new musical direction in 1968, The Temptations continue their hot streak into 1969. Much like their groundbreaking single “Cloud Nine”, the groups hit from earlier in the year, producer Norman Whitfield arranges the song so that all five members of the Tempts rotate singing lead through the course of the song, borrowing the template from Sly & The Family Stone’s “Dance To The Music”. The basic track is recorded at Motown’s Studio A in Detroit on June 23, 1969 with members of The Funk Brothers playing on it. Further overdubs are recorded on June 24, 27, 30, and July 2, 1969. The Temptations add their vocals on July 3, 1969. Released on July 30, 1969, it quickly becomes a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #84 on August 16, 1969, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. An instrumental mix of the song is featured on the Deluxe Edition of the soundtrack for “Standing In The Shadows Of Motown” in 2002. “I Can’t Get Next To You” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: July 27, 1972 – “All Directions”, the twelfth studio album by The Temptations is released. Produced by Norman Whitfield, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit, MI and Hitsville USA West in Hollywood, CA from Early – Mid 1972. The group are initially resistant to recording the tracks “Run Charlie Run” (about the mass exodus of white families from major urban centers to the suburbs) and “Papa Was Rolling Stone”, feeling their sensitive subject matter and lyrics will turn some fans off. Lead singer Dennis Edwards especially object to the latter when the songs lyrics hit a little too close to home. However, the group relent and record the songs. “Papa Was Rolling Stone” hits number one on the Billboard Hot 100 (#2 R&B), winning three Grammy Awards including The Temptations second award for Best R&B Group Vocal Performance in 1973. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Speaker’s Corner Records in 2008. It is also remastered and reissued as an SHM-CD by Universal Japan in 2012, and as an HDCD encoded CD (packaged in a mini LP replica sleeve) by Universal/UMe France in 2014. “All Directions” spends one week at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and peaks at number two on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: July 17, 1967 – “With A Lot O’ Soul”, the fifth studio album by The Temptations is released. Produced by Norman Whitfield, Smokey Robinson, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Frank Wilson and Ivy Jo Hunter, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit, MI from Fall 1966 – Spring 1967. Released during the period when the legendary Motown vocal group is reaching the peak of their commercial success, the album is the most successful of the groups’ “Classic 5” era line up. It spins off four hit singles including the top 10 hits “(I Know) I’m Losing You (#1 R&B, #8 Pop), "All I Need (#2 R&B, #8 Pop), ”(Loneliness Made Me Realize) It’s You That I Need" (#3 R&B, #14 Pop), and “You’re My Everything” (#3 R&B, #6 Pop). Over the years, outtakes from the sessions that produce this album surface on compilations such as The Temptations “Emperors Of Soul” box set in 1994, and “Lost and Found: You’ve Got To Earn It (1962-1968)” in 1999. The album is remastered and reissued in 1998 with the original cover artwork restored. “With A Lot O’ Soul” spends one week at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and peaking at number seven on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: June 25, 1966 – “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” by The Temptations hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 8 weeks, also peaking at #13 on the Hot 100 on July 16, 1966. Written by Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland, it is the third chart topping single for the legendary Motown vocal quintet. With The Temptations’ subsequent follow ups to the chart topping “My Girl” (It’s Growing" (#3 R&B, #18 Pop), “Since I Lost My Baby” (#4 R&B, #17 Pop), and “My Baby” (#14 R&B, #83 Pop) falling short of expectations on the pop charts, producer and songwriter Norman Whitfield is given the opportunity to produce a track for the group. Barely twenty five years old at the time, Whitfield is a highly talented writer and cocksure in his belief that he can provide The Tempts the hit they need. Writing with lyricist Eddie Holland, the pair come up with “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”. The track is recorded on January 4, 1966 at Motown’s Studio A in Detroit with members of the Funk Brothers providing musical support. The Temptations overdub their vocals a week later on January 11, 1966. When it comes time for the finished song to be heard during Motown’s weekly Quality Control meetings, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” is initially initially rejected in favor of “Get Ready” which is also co-written and produced by Smokey Robinson. Disappointed, Whitfield goes back and cuts the track again, and is rejected a second time. Determined not to be turned down a third time, Whitfield is especially demanding on lead singer David Ruffin, pushing Ruffin to sing above his normal vocal range. By the time the vocal session wraps, the singer is drenched in sweat with his glasses fogged over and askew on his face. But the producer gets exactly the results he’s looking for. After hearing the third version of “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”, and after “Get Ready” (#1 R&B, #29 Pop) performs disappointingly on the pop chart, Gordy approves the release of “Beg” as the follow up. Released on May 3, 1966, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” takes off like a rocket. Entering the R&B chart at #22  and #67 on the Hot 100 on May 28, 1966, it rises up both charts quickly. An instant classic, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” gives The Temptations their third R&B #1, and establishes Norman Whitfield as the groups main producer, a title he holds for the next eight and a half years. One of the most popular songs in the Motown catalog, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” is covered numerous times, including versions by Count Basie, Willie Bobo, The Rolling Stones, Rick Astley and Phil Collins. In 1985, David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks record the song again as part of a live medley of Temptations classics with Daryl Hall & John Oates. The song is also featured in a memorable sequence in the film “The Big Chill” in 1983. “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Psichedelic Soul

https://youtu.be/U3z5NKskK60

On this day in music history: June 15, 1966 – “Gettin’ Ready”, the fourth studio album by The Temptations is released. Produced by Smokey Robinson, Norman Whitfield, William “Mickey” Stevenson, Ivy Jo Hunter, Robert Staunton and Robert Walker, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit, MI from Late 1965 – Mid 1966. The album marks a major turning point in the career of the superstar Motown group career as producer Norman Whitfield takes over duties as The Tempts main producer from Smokey Robinson. Berry Gordy challenges Robinson and Whitfield to see who can score a bigger hit on the pop charts for the group. Robinson responds with the song “Get Ready” which tops the R&B charts, but falls short on the pop chart peaking at #29. Whitfield gets his shot with “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”. It also hits #1 on the R&B chart, peaking at #13 on the pop chart, leading him to being the groups producer almost exclusively for the next seven years. The album also includes the first recording of the song “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” which becomes a big hit for Marvin Gaye three years later. “Gettin’ Ready” spends six weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and peak at number twelve on the Top 200.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228