The Temptations always try to stay ”abreast” of the music industry’s changes.
The ‘My Girl’ group have been performing since the early 60s and sole original member Otis Williams says while they adapt parts of their show for a modern audience, they never change their classic tracks, as they have already stood the test of time.
He told ”The one thing that is constant in life is change, and we recognise that and we always try and stay abreast of that, so we recognise it and do what we have to do to stay entertaining through all the different changes.
”But I still think that great songs with great melodies and performing will always endure. The thing that remains the same are great songs, and that is what we are all about.”
Otis, 70, has been the leader of the ‘Papa was a Rolling Stone’ group – currently completed by Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon and Bruce Williamson – since the early 60s, and got the job not because of his singing ability, but because he was always on time.
He said: ”It goes back to when we worked with Johnnie Mae Matthews, when she would call rehearsal at her house. I always made a point to get there a little before time. And one day she said, ‘Otis, you’re never late. That’s a good quality to have. You be the group leader.’
”When we got to Motown [records], we met with Mickey Stevenson, then the A&R man. He said, ‘If you want to make Mr. Gordy mad, be late.’ And we said, ‘We don’t play late.’
”So that’s how I became the leader.”