When rock music historians look back over the music of the 20^th century, the Temptations will be imprinted as one of the most famous and long lasting vocal groups of all time. The Temptations will also be known for their central significance to the success of Motown Records, the visionary musical engine that was created by Berry Gordy, Jr. The sound of the Temptations is one of funk, disco, soul, doo-wop, and rhythm and blues and will be known as an influencing sound to many other artists that made their mark on music history.
The Temptations formed in 1960 with the original name of the Elgins and continue to perform today under only one of their original members, Otis Williams. Because of the immense versatility of the group, they have been able to cross generations with their adaptability to the trends and varying sounds of each decade.
The Temptations have earned worldwide recognition and universal respect. Their longevity is a testament to their massive and contemporary reach. Here are three of the highlights of the worldwide influence of The Temptations:
1. Classic FIVE: During the period of the early 1960's and with the recording of The Temptations most recognizable song, "My Girl" the group produced a steady stream of ballad style hits. During this period of time David Ruffin was generally the lead vocalist, and the Temptations became firmly ensconced in the Motown Sound.
2. Versatility: The Temptations have been able to adapt their sound throughout the decades, starting with the Motown Sound and progressing through R & B, soul, funk, and rock. In the late 1960's, with the influence of Sly and the Family Stone entrenched in the music of the time, The Temptations placed firmly in a new genre of music known as psychedelic soul.
3. Recognition: In 1989, Otis Williams, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, and Dennis Edwards, all of The Temptations were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Temptations were also the first Motown group to win a Grammy Award.
Beyond their worldwide recognition and versatile style, The Temptations are a vital and important part of the American musical scene.