Personalities | The Temptations | Sixties | Rock

(Vocal group, 1960–present)

Formed in 1960, The Temptations were Motown’s leading male group, with smooth harmonies and crisp choreography. Their first big hit, 1965’s ‘My Girl’ was written by Smokey Robinson in reply to his earlier ‘My Guy’, penned for Mary Wells. From 1967, producer Norman Whitfield gave them a harder edge. Adding psychedelic soul to the Motown pop mix, further hits included 1969’s drugs-referencing ‘Cloud Nine’ and the civil-rights appeal of 1972’s epic ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’.

Several Temptations frontmen have had successful solo careers: David Ruffin (brother of Jimmy) was forced into one, sacked in 1968 for egotism; Eddie Kendricks quit after 1971’s ‘Just My Imagination’, unhappy with the new psychedelic direction; and Dennis Edwards has been in and out three times. Latterday reunions have been plagued by internal disagreements and ill-health. Otis Williams is the only original Temptation in the current line-up, which still tours the oldies circuit.

Styles & Forms | Sixties | Rock
Personalities | Tammi Terrell | Sixties | Rock

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.