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Copyright by Flora Breen Robison 

Motown Legends Still Singing

The Temptations have gone through several changes over time since they originated in 1960. They are still touring, singing their greatest hits, and recording. However, most of their original members are dead. The only original member of these Motown legends who is still alive and touring with the group is Otis Williams. The other original singers were Al Byrant, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, and Paul Williams. There have been at least nine other singers in The Temptations.

The Temptations did not write their own music. Many of their hits were written by other Motown legends such as Smokey Robinson. Robinson’s composition “My Girl” is considered by many to be the ultimate Motown song for male groups (although there have been women who have sung with them after the original group). The guitar riff in the beginning of the song is perhaps the most famous beginning riff in Motown history. The guitarist should be more famous than he ever was, but he was only a household name among fellow musicians.

I published a poem earlier about Smokey Robinson’s hits that he sang himself  as a soloist and as the lead singer of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. He often wrote music specifically for other artists and not for himself. Unlike the guitarist on the recording of “My Girl,” Robinson is a household name.

As always, the song titles are in capitals. Keep in mind that the song titles are mostly the greatest hits and love songs can be deliriously happy or extremely despondent.

The Temptations Song

It is not Just My Imagination

That The Way You Do The Things You Do

Has changed. I Can’t Get Next To You

As often as I did before.

All I Need to do is Get Ready and end this Ball of Confusion.

I Ain’t Too Proud To Beg for an explanation

Of why our relationship has changed.

You still greet me when you come home

With the words “come here, My Girl,”

But the light is not shining in your eyes.

Your mother always told you “Treat Her Like Lady”

And you do treat me like a lady.

But I Know I’m Losing You.

I want us to return to Cloud Nine.


The Temptations Have Had Several Line-ups of Singers Since Their Inception. This group is from 1991.

Source: By Zoran Veselinovic [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons