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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Temptations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Temptations. Show all posts

Monday, December 2, 2013

Island Records Group release: The Motown 7s Box - New release review

I just received the latest release, The Motown 7s Box, from Island Records Group and it's a fast paced mouthful of savory soul and R&B style. Opening with Marvin Gaye's This Love Starved Heart, the release is hopping from the start. The Spinners', What More Could A Boy Ask For, is slick and smooth with horn and vocal backing. Frank Wilson's Do I Love You is a strong driver with full orchestration. Wilson is on top of his game on this track. The Originals' Suspicion has such a strong Motown trademark sound with the drums in front with the vocals and underlying strings and backing vocals. Very nice. The Supremes do a straight up version of Stormy. This is a really cool track with classic styling. Stevie Wonder, one of the best song smiths of our time, is up next with Just Enough To Ease The Pain. This track is closely related to Light My Fire melodically with a definite Wonder twist. The Four Tops' Clip My Wings moves along at a fast moving clip and leaving you wanting more. Tammi Terrell contributes one of my favorite tracks, All I Do, which shows just how talented she is. Barbara McNair, with It Happens Every Time, has a nice easy paced pop tune. David Ruffin's I Can't Be Hurt Anymore is a terrific R&B track showing Ruffin in solid groove. The Temptations' Forever In My Heart has trademark vocal blending with that superior bottom. Kim Weston picks up the pace with You Hit Me Where It Hurts. This is a great pop track with super vocals and melodic harmonies. Chris Clark steps up with Something's Wrong, another of my favorite tracks. It has just the right pace and feel. The Isley Brothers wrap the release with the smooth My Love Is Your Love. This is a really warm track and a perfect track to close the set.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Ball of Confusion - Melvin Franklin (Tempations)

David Melvin English (October 12, 1942 – February 23, 1995) better known by the stage name Melvin Franklin, was an American bass singer. Franklin was best known for his role as a member of Motown singing group The Temptations from 1960 to 1994. David English was born in Montgomery, Alabama to Rose English, a teenage mother from nearby Mobile.His biological father was the preacher of the English family's church in Mobile, who, according to his mother, impregnated her through non-consensual relations. Following David's birth, Rose English married Willard Franklin and moved to Detroit, her grandmother insisting young David be left behind in her care. David English finally moved to Detroit with his mother and stepfather in 1952 at age ten. Taking on his stepfather's surname for his stage name as a teenager, David English - now Melvin Franklin - was a member of a number of local singing groups in Detroit, including The Voice Masters with Lamont Dozier and David Ruffin, and frequently performed with his best friend, Richard Street. Franklin often referred to Street - and Ruffin, another childhood friend - as his "cousins". One day, walking home from Northwestern High School, Franklin was approached by a large teenager who was adamantly trying to get his attention. Thinking the stranger was a gang member, Franklin ran away and attempted to dodge his pursuer before learning that the young man was Otis Williams, a singer in a local group called Otis Williams and the Siberians. Franklin joined the group as its bass singer, and remained with Williams and Elbridge Bryant when they, Paul Williams, and Eddie Kendricks formed The Elgins in late 1959. In March 1961, the Elgins signed with Motown Records under a new name; The Temptations. He had a fondness for the color blue, and so he was nicknamed "Blue" by his friends and fellow singers. According to Otis Williams, Franklin romantically pursued Supremes singer Mary Wilson at one point. Best friends for over thirty years, Williams and Franklin were the only two Temptations to never quit the group. One of the most famous bass singers in black music over his long career, Franklin's deep vocals became one of the group's signature trademarks. Franklin sang a handful of featured leads with the group as well, including the songs "I Truly, Truly Believe" (The Temptations Wish It Would Rain, 1968), "Silent Night" (Give Love At Christmas, 1980), "The Prophet" (A Song for You, 1975), and his signature live performance number, Paul Robeson's "Ol' Man River". Franklin was usually called upon to deliver ad-libs, harmony vocals, and, during the psychedelic soul era, notable sections of the main verses. His line from The Temptations' 1970 #3 hit "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", "and the band played on", became Franklin's trademark. In the late 1960s, Franklin was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms of which he combated with cortisone so that he could continue performing. The constant use of cortisone left his immune system open to other infections and health problems; as a result Franklin developed diabetes in the early 1980s and later contracted necrotizing fasciitis. In 1978 he was shot in the hand and in the leg while trying to stop a man from stealing his car in Los Angeles. On February 23, 1995, after a number of seizures, he fell into a coma and remained unconscious until his death. In addition to singing, Franklin also worked as a voice actor. In 1984, he provided the voice for the character of "Wheels" in the animated series Pole Position. In 1989, Melvin Franklin was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Temptations. “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Girl - Temptations

The Temptations are an American vocal group known for their success in the 60s and 70s at Motown Records. The group's repertoire has included, during its five-decade career, R&B, doo-wop, funk, disco, soul, and adult contemporary music. Known for their recognizable choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy onstage suits, the Temptations have been said to be as influential to soul as The Beatles are to pop and rock.

Formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960 as The Elgins (not to be confused with another Motown group with the same name), the Temptations have always featured at least five male vocalists/dancers. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history. As of 2010, the Temptations continue to perform and record for Universal Records with its one living original member, Otis Williams, still in its lineup.

The original lineup included members of two local Detroit vocal groups: from The Distants, second tenor Otis Williams, first tenor Elbridge "Al" Bryant, and bass Melvin Franklin; and from The Primes, first tenor/falsetto Eddie Kendricks and second tenor/baritone Paul Williams (no relation to Otis). Among the most notable future Temptations were lead singers David Ruffin and Dennis Edwards (both later solo artists), Ali-Ollie Woodson, Ron Tyson, Glenn Leonard, Damon Harris, Richard Street, Theo Peoples, and G. C. Cameron. Like its "sister" female group, the Supremes, the Temptations' lineup has changed frequently over the years.

Over the course of their career, the Temptations have released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and 14 Billboard R&B number-one singles. Their material has earned them three Grammy Awards, while two more awards were conferred upon the songwriters and producers who crafted their 1972 hit "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone". The Temptations were the first Motown act to earn a Grammy Award. Six Temptations (Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Otis Williams, and Paul Williams) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Three classic Temptations songs, "My Girl", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
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