Reflections: The Temptations (all of them)


I was asked by a reader who is a Temptations fan, a Motown enthusiast and a lover of statistics, how many men had been members of the Temptations in the history of the group, which would be 1961 to the present.

There have been 22 Temptations in all. That’s a lot of personnel changes.

Of course, there is Otis Williams, founding member and owner of the Temptations name, who is working with yet another lineup.

The other 21, in alphabetical order, are Elbridge Bryant, G.C. Cameron, Ray Davis, Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Damon Harris, Barrington Henderson, Joe Herndon, Eddie Kendricks, Glen Leonard, Harry McGillberry, Ricky Owens, Theo Peoples, Louis Price, David Ruffin, Richard Street, Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Paul Williams, Bruce Williamson and Ali Woodson.

Dennis Edwards has the distinction of being the only one who was in the group three times: 1968-1977, 1980-1983 and 1987-1988.

MAXWELL’S highly anticipated concert at Joe Louis Arena turned out to be a letdown on many fronts. Complaints to me by way of e-mail came in steadily.

The main problem was that the sound system and acoustics were terrible. This practically wiped out Chrisette Michele’s performance, and Robin Thicke was so upset that he left the stage several times in an attempt to have the problems resolved.

Maxwell also gave it his best shot, but he was facing two crucial problems: the sound system and acoustics and the fact that he was hoarse and couldn’t hit the high notes he is known for. He did the classy thing by apologizing to the audience for everything.

All three artists were very unhappy. They knew their fans deserved much better.

In addition, the show started late and people had to wait an hour to be seated. It was hot and crowded in the concession area waiting for the seating to begin. One woman passed out and had to be treated.

WHITNEY HOUSTON failed to impress the insightful, tell-it-like-it-is Entertainment Weekly columnist Mark Harris with her lengthy, two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey. He described it as “empty” and essentially a ploy to promote her comeback album.

According to Harris, it came across as “flat and false partly because we live in a less celebrity-naïve world than the one in which Houston and Winfrey attained fame in the 1980s.”

He continued, “The Bravo network’s reality show ‘Being Bobby Brown,’ filmed when Houston was too far gone to give a damn, showed us what her genuinely unguarded moments look like.

“As a result, this encounter between two self-protective powerhouses never seemed spontaneous…It felt choreographed…By day two, Winfrey was weeping and Houston was dry-eyed.”

I have always felt that Whitney Houston is a less than for-real person.

For example, during the time she was still being promoted as a pop princess, she did a shocking interview with Rolling Stone magazine that was harsh and full of hard-core profanity. And I hate it when people blame Bobby Brown for her downfall. Truth is, they were very much alike, which is why they stayed married for 15 years, despite the trials and tribulations.

Nevertheless, I wish her well and hope that the damage done to her voice can be somehow repaired.

CHRIS BROWN deserved the bad press and public condemnation he received for beating up Rihanna. He also deserved being sentenced to probation and community service (picking up trash in Virginia, etc.).

But no one should have to pay indefinitely for a mistake they made, so long as it was not murder, incest or anything like that. He is to be admired for his determination to get his career and life moving again, knowing it will be an uphill battle.

Brown is scheduled to headline his first concert since he got into trouble on Oct. 27, in New Jersey.

Gloria Gaynor says she finds it hard to believe that her signature song, the classic “I Will Survive,” is now 30 years old. She joked, “How is that possible? I’m only 29!”

Amazingly, the record company (Polydor) had “I Will Survive” as the B-side of a record (“Substitute” was the A-side). But Gaynor, radio stations, club deejays and others had very different ideas.

Theresa Hill, perhaps the city’s best known promoter of house music, tells us via e-mail us that on Saturday, Oct. 17, Theresa Hill/Project 81 & Warner “Yogi” Owens will present “Gotta Have…House.” The CD listening/dance party will take place at the East Grand, 497 E. Grand Blvd. For more information, use this e-mail address:

IT’S INTERESTING how things change. The other day I heard Marvin Gaye’s 1965 hit “I’ll Be Doggone.” One of the lines goes, “Every woman should try to be whatever her man wants her to be.”

That sounds so dated now. Just about everyone knows that a woman should be whatever she wants to be.

Also sexist: Tom Jones singing (in “She’s a Lady”), “She’s got style, she’s got grace, and she always knows her place.”

Knows her place? Was the songwriter thinking at all?

Then there’s Johnnie Taylor objectifying a woman by singing, “It’s cheaper to keep her.”

And let’s not forget Paul Anka singing “Havin’ my baby, what a lovely way of sayin’ how much you love me.”

His baby? I thought it was their baby.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that George Clinton began using the name P-Funk All Stars because he lost the legal rights to “Parliament” and “Funkadelic.”

MEMORIES: “When Doves Cry” (Prince), “She’s on the Left” (Jeffrey Osborne), “We’re in This Love Together” (Al Jarreau), “Sweet Soul Music” (Arthur Conley), “Down Home Blues” (Z.Z. Hill), “Love Come Down” (Evelyn “Champagne” King), “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (Rod Stewart), “I Can’t Stand the Rain” (Ann Peebles), “When Love Calls” (Atlantic Starr), “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” (Bobby Womack).

BLESSINGS to Daphne Andrews Williams, Chuck Bennett, Bobby Green, Brenda Perryman, Betty DeRamus, Jim Burns, Emanuel Stewart, Ed Phillips, Dwayne Page and Michael J. Powell.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from David Frost: “Do what you love and success will come naturally.”

Let the music play!

(Steve Holsey can be reached at and P.O. Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)



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