The Temptations – Biography, Songs, Albums, Discography & Facts

The Temptations Biography

The Temptations are a popular American singing group from Detroit, Michigan, who worked with Motown Records in the 1960s and 1970s to record a number of hit singles and albums. The group’s collaboration with producer Norman Whitfield helped establish psychedelic soul and played a pivotal role in the development of R&B and soul music, starting with the Top 10 hit single “Cloud Nine” in October 1968. The band’s members are renowned for their distinctive harmonies, dancing, and fashion sense. The Temptations are among the most popular music groups, with tens of millions of recordings sold.

Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks began singing together as children in the church. They were teenagers when, in 1955, they joined up with Kell Osborne and Wiley Waller to form the Cavaliers, a doo-wop quartet. The remaining trio departed Birmingham to enter the music industry after Waller left the group in 1957. Under Milton Jenkins’ leadership, the group made its home in Detroit and changed its name to the Primes. The Primes quickly gained a reputation for their immaculate performances in the Detroit area. The Primettes, later known as the Supremes, was a sibling group Jenkins subsequently formed. In the Detroit region, Kendricks was already regarded as a “matinee idol,” whilst Williams’ baritone vocals were well-liked.

The Elgins, a group that consisted of five male vocalists and dancers (save for brief intervals when there were fewer or more members), was founded in Detroit in 1960. Otis Williams, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, Melvin Franklin, and Eddie Kendricks of Otis Williams & the Distants, and Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks of the Primes, two rival Detroit vocal groups, provided the initial members. David Ruffin, the lead vocalist on several of the group’s biggest songs, including “My Girl” (1964), “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (1966), and “I Wish It Would Rain,” took over for Bryant (1967). Dennis Edwards took over for Ruffin in 1968, and the group continued to release successful singles like “Cloud Nine” (1968), “I Can’t Get Next to You” (1969), and “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)” with him (1970). Since Kendricks and Paul Williams left the act in 1971, the band’s line-up has undergone numerous changes. Singers like Richard Street, Damon Harris, Ron Tyson, and Ali-Ollie Woodson later joined the group. With their help, the group had late-period hits with “Treat Her Like a Lady” in 1984 and the title song for the kids’ movement programme Kids in Motion in 1987.

The Temptations released fourteen R&B number-one singles and four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles during their tenure. Three Grammy Awards have been given to their music. The Temptations got the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and were the first Motown music act to win a Grammy Award for “Cloud Nine” in 1969. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted six members of the Temptations (Edwards, Franklin, Kendricks, Ruffin, Otis Williams, and Paul Williams) that year. One of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Classics that Shaped Rock and Roll is “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me),” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” three timeless Temptations songs. On the list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time published by Rolling Stone magazine, The Temptations came in at number 68.

The Temptations continue to perform as of 2022 with founding member Otis Williams on the bill (Williams owns the rights to the Temptations name).

The Temptations Discography

Wings of LoveSpotifyAmazon
House PartySpotifyYouTube
A Song for YouSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Solid RockSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
The Temptations Wish It Would Rain
Gettin’ ReadySpotifyAppleAmazon
Meet the TemptationsSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who Was The Best Singer In The Temptations?

There are a lot of great singers in the Temptations, but the best singer is undoubtedly Smokey Robinson. He has an incredible voice that is able to convey emotion and convey a message through his music. His songs are timeless classics that are loved by people of all ages. Smokey Robinson is a true icon in the world of music.

What Was Temptations Biggest Hit?

The Temptations had many big hits over the course of their long and successful career, but perhaps their most well-known song is “My Girl”. Released in 1964, “My Girl” reached the top of the charts and has become an enduring classic. With its catchy melody and soulful vocals, “My Girl” is a song that continues to resonate with fans of all ages.

How Many Number One Hits Did The Temptations Have?

The Temptations are an American Motown group whose repertoire has included doo-wop, soul, psychedelia, funk, disco, r&b, and hip hop. The group’s original lineup included Otis Williams, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, Melvin Franklin, Norman Whitfield, and Paul Williams. Later members included Ali-Ollie Woodson, Glenn Leonard, Ron Tyson, and Terry Weeks.

What Was The Temptations First Number One Hit?

The Temptations’ first number one hit was “My Girl,” which was released as a single on December 21, 1964. It became the group’s first number-one pop hit in March 1965. Co-written and co-produced by Smokey Robinson, “My Girl” is a well-known song that highlights the group’s distinctive sound and harmonies.

How Many Hits Did The Temptations Have?

The Temptations achieved significant success with Motown Records during the 1960s to early 1970s. They released multiple chart-topping singles and albums, including four number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and fourteen number-one hits on the R&B charts. They also had several songs that reached the Billboard Top 40 and eleven number-one albums on the R&B chart. Their popular songs include “My Girl,” “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep,” “Runaway Child, Running Wild,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”. 

How Many Records Did The Temptations Sell?

The Temptations have sold a significant number of albums throughout their career, including “Greatest Hits” with over 2,000,000 copies sold, “Temptations Greatest Hits, Vol. II” with over 1,000,000 copies sold, and “Anthology” with over 1,000,000 copies sold. 

What Is The First Song Of The Temptations?

The first song of The Temptations is “My Girl”. It was released in 1964 and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White.

Most Searched For Temptations Songs

My GirlSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Papa was a rolling stoneSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Get ReadySpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Ain’t Too proud to begSpotifyAppleAmazon
I can’t get next to youSpotifyApple
All I needSpotify
Treat her like a ladySpotifyAppleAmazon