With 14 R&B No. 1 singles, the Temptations put Motown records on the charts with "My Girl," "The Way You Do the Things You Do," "Cloud Nine," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Get Ready." Their music has never lost its relevance. The group's hit single "Ain't Too Proud," which debuted in March 1966, led to a Broadway stage musical and an incredible 11 Tony nominations. Otis Williams, the only living member of the original Temptations, discusses the emotional impact of their music by saying, "Here I am, 77 years old enjoying life as if I'm 27."
The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and Motown Records
Otis Williams moved to Detroit, Mich., with his mother around the same time that Motown Records was established. In Motor City, he founded the Temptations with Al Bryant, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin and Paul Williams. Smokey Robinson wrote the lyrics to the Temptations' song "My Girl," their first No. 1 hit. The Temptations won NAACP Image Awards and Soul Train Music Awards for five platinum albums, six platinum singles, 14 gold albums and 12 gold singles, including "Ball of Confusion" and "War."
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How did the Temptations' Motown sound change history?
The Temptations have been described as "an irresistible force of social change" straight out of Motown. The group impacted the music industry and the United States as a whole as their stunning success changed society and culture, bringing together a racially divided, segregated country and economy. Along with Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Lionel Richie, the Temptations changed the style and substance of popular music and culture. A musical chronicling their history was created for the 50th Anniversary of Motown Records, now part of the Universal Music Group.
What's on the temptations' 2019-2020 concert agenda?
Ain't Too Proud opens on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre in September 2019 to bring the best of Motown doo-wop and R&B to New York City. It features the smooth sounds of the Temptations' many chart-topping hits written and originally performed during the '50s. Their classic R&B/soul doo-wop sound showcased on tracks such as "Under The Boardwalk," "On Broadway," "Adorable" and "There Goes My Baby" makes them one of the most influential vocal groups of all time.
How many awards have The temptations won?
Ain't Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations won a 2019 Tony Best Choreography Award. The Temptations, who have been cited as leading Motown into the mainstream, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. The Temptations won Granny Awards for "Cloud Nine," "Papa was a Rolling Stone," "My Girl" and "Ear-Resistible." In 1968, they won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Group Performance, then went on to win two Grammy Awards in 1972 for Best R&B Instrumental and Best R&B Vocal Group Performance. "My Girl" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, followed by "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" in 1999. In 2001, the Temptations won Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album for Ear-Resistible.