We’re looking forward to a quintessential summertime event, the Temptations and Four Tops at the Melody Tent. We’re pleased to have them back for another night of Motown classics.
In 1954, at a high school party in Detroit, Four Tops bandmates Stubbs, Fakir, Benson and Payton were urged by partygoers to provide some impromptu entertainment. The synergy was obvious, immediate and strong. The quartet decided to start performing, and called themselves The Four Aims (Aiming for the Top). The group’s popularity grew as they performed at small clubs all over Detroit, honing their act while singing jazz and standards. So as not to be confused with the Ames Brothers, The Four Aims changed the name of their group to the Four Tops and recorded their first single, “Kiss Me Baby,” with Chess Records in 1956.
Between 1964 and 1967, the Four Tops produced most of the group’s early hits: “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “I Can’t Help Myself,” “It’s the Same Old Song,” “Bernadette” and many others. By the time the Four Tops joined Motown Records, the four singers had been performing together for 10 years. Already seasoned performers, there were no bumps on the road to superstardom.
The Temptations got their start in 1961, when Detroit met Alabama head on. Otis Williams met singers Melvin Franklin, Eldridge Bryant and Alabama natives Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams.. As a new group in Detroit, they struggled for success and recognition until they signed to Motown Records and changed their name to The Temptations. They released their first smash hit “The Way You Do The Things You Do” followed by their first number one hit, “My Girl.” 1964 marks one of the most important years in American history with the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It was also the birth of American pop music with the introduction of number one hit songs from both the Beatles (I want to hold your Hand) and the Temptations (My Girl).
The Temptations have become an institution noted for their precise choreography and blend of R&B vocal sensibilities. A continuous line up of 5 highly talented male singers working together as a vocal powerhouse has propelled the Temptations throughout their 50-year history. With a focus on the vocal ensemble, rather than a lead singer, 12 talented singers have come and gone thru the ranks of the band, and (founding original member) Otis Williams has continued to keep the Temptations sound alive and at the top of the charts. With songs like “Get Ready”, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, “Losing You”, “Cloud Nine”, “Just My Imagination”, “Ball Of Confusion”, “Runaway Child”, Psychedelic Shack” and “My Girl” the group has amassed a catalog of over 30 Top Ten and #1 songs in the last 45 years (and still counting).
The group’s current lineup of singers includes Otis Williams, Walter Joe Herndon, Terry Weeks, Ron Tyson Presson and Bruce Williamson. “It’s all about the music and the people. That is the true legacy of The Temptations.” With great songs, singers and a live stage show that continues to “wow” audiences around the world, the Temptations constantly enlist new fans as they continue to deliver their “Motown” vocal sound that made them famous.
This may not be the most recent video, but we had to share it with you. We love the interaction between the bands and the medley is classic.