Sociology Index

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The Temptations

Three Temptations songs, "My Girl", "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)", and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that would shape and change Rock and Roll forever. It was the third of September, the day I'll always remember, yes I will, 'cause that was the day that my daddy died. The Temptations were ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time. The band members are very popular for their choreography, and distinct harmonies. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.

The Temptations are an American vocal group who released a series of successful singles and albums during the 1960s and 1970s. Featuring five male vocalists and dancers, the group formed in 1960 in Detroit, Michigan under the name The Elgins. The founding members came from two rival Detroit vocal groups: Otis Williams, Elbridge "Al" Bryant, and Melvin Franklin of Otis Williams & the Distants, and Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams of the Primes.

The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. Graff, Gary (August 29, 1988). "The Temptations: Otis tells the group's tale", Detroit Free Press.

"Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", a magnum opus written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and produced by Whitfield. A seven-minute version was released as a single and became one of the longest hit singles in music history: it hit number 1 on the pop charts and number 5 on the R&B charts. In 1973, "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" won the Temptations their second Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Group.

The addition of Dennis Edwards to the Temptations coincided with the adoption of a new sound for the group by producer Norman Whitfield, and in the fall of 1968, Whitfield began producing psychedelic-based material for the Temptations, derived primarily from the sound of funk band Sly & the Family Stone. This new style, which debuted with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" - The Temptations interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1970).