Here on The Temptations songs page you'll find a collection of demo covers and full lesson tutorials available for purchase along with several free chord sheets in pdf. format. Help yourself to the free chord sheets where available.
The first song listed here called "Get Ready" was written by then producer of The Temptations, Smokey Robinson.
The song was placed on 2 charts when it was released in Feb of 1966. The R&B Singles chart, where the song went to #1, and the Pop Chart, where the song peaked at #29.
Head of Motown at the time, Berry Gordy, made a bet with Smokey Robinson regarding another of The Temptations songs called "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", written by Norman Whitfield. The bet was that if this song charted higher on the Pop Charts than Get Ready, then Smokey would be replaced as producer. He was as this song charted at #13 on the pop charts.
|Get Ready||I Wish It Would Rain|
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The second of The Temptations songs I've covered acoustically is "I Wish It Would Rain", became another #1 hit for the group in late Dec 1967 and Early part of 1968.
The song was written by Rodger Penzabene who discovered his wife was cheating on him. He was so stressed by the affair that he committed suicide a week after the songs release. Interestingly, the opening riff was played on a piano in the studio that only had 10 working keys at the time.
And finally the bands signature song "My Girl", was written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White about Smokey's wife and "Miracles" band mate Claudette. The song was released in late 1964 and was part of the 1965 album of the same name. "My Girl" was The Temptations very first #1 hit.
Smokey wrote the song specifically with singer David Ruffin in mind as he was not a lead vocalist in the group at the time. Smokey and his band The Miracles were going to record the song but passed it over to The Temptations and it became a smash in March 1965 and still is their signature song to this date..
The Temptations were the first Motown group to win a Grammy Award.
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The temptations were formed in Detroit MI in 1960. Of the 5 early members in the group including Al Bryant, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks and Otis Williams, only Otis Williams is still alive as of this writing in Sep 2019. He is now 77 and still performs with the group.
The band was created from a joining of two bands from "Otis Williams and The Distants" with a group called "The Primes" and were initially known as "The Elgins".
The guys were big fans of another group that formed 5 years earlier known as "The Miracles", which was founded by Smokey Robinson. From 1961-1963 The Temptations songs consisted of 8 recordings, but not with much success. It was around this time in 1063 that The Temptations began working with Smokey Robinson.
With little success happening, Al Bryant became restless with the band and with a bad attitude, was fired. He was replaced with David Ruffin, the brother of Jimmy Ruffin who had his own hits including "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted" in 1966.
Norman Whitfield, who was also a record producer, had asked the head of Motown Berry Gordy for a shot at producing the group. That's when the bet mentioned above took place and Whitfield got his chance. This change set a new course for The Temptations away from ballads and towards a James Brown type sound.
David Ruffin eventually became too difficult to work with and was fired and replaced by Dennis Edwards in mid 1968. After several years with their new sound of Psychedelic Soul, by mid 1970 Eddie Kendricks had left the group followed by Paul Williams in May 1971.
As mentioned earlier ... after all of the problems, band changes, lawsuits over the years and the death of all original members plus David Ruffin, Otis Williams is still standing since his initial recording career began back in 1958. A remarkable 60+ years and this group keeps on giving.
I hope you find my take on just a few of The Temptations songs a worthwhile investment of your time. Some songs never seem to go out of style.