The Temptations Aint Too Proud To Beg

Ain't too proud to beg is the definitive book about the band The Temptations, from their troubled beginnings, and the troubling times, during their rise, and the tragic things that lay in their path. A highly detailed opus by Mark Ribowsky, its attention to detail over the rocky road to stardom, and the bringing together of the Primes, Siberians and The Distants, all bands that would eventually merge into The Temptations, who I'm sure everyone has heard of. Of course you must of heard My Girl, that song is everywhere, well l know it well and l don't even own a copy of it. The book's main focus is on the line-up that recorded My Girl, and that was Otis Williams, Melvyn Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin, and boy did they have tough upringings, really tragic and scary in the case of Ruffin. As much as this is a telling of the tale of The Temptations, it is equally about the rise of Motown, and Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, and other key fiqures such as Mickey Stevenson and the musical genius of The Funk Brothers, all held the cards to the making of the Temptations and what great singers they were, blending beautiful harmonies and great dance moves. It took a wee while, before finally the temps hit the number one spot with My Girl, followed by more greatness in songs like Ain't too proud to beg which remains the fans favourite. Then came the departure of Ruffin who kept coming back and making unannounced appearances, employing guerilla style tactics to get onstage. His replacement Dennis Edwards, signaled a change in direction, and they entered a new era of musical stylings that owed a lot to flower power and the emerging funk scene with bands like Sly And The Family Stone. To me this was my favourite period, and there is a great compilation album out there called Psychedelic Soul which has all the hits and funky stuff to, look at numbers like Cloud Nine, l can't get next to you, Ball of Confusion all classics. Afterwards the hits kept coming, Papa was a Rolling stone, Just my lmagination pure gold right. Sadly many of the Tempts died in dire circumstances, and only Otis stll remains from the classic line-up,Paul Williams apparent suicide,Melvyn from a coma, and one time, he had even being shot while trying to to stop a car jacker he was not killed cause the jacker recognised his voice from the Temptations and choose to kick him out of his car instead of killing him outright, Ruffin took far too much cocaine and blew up his heart, and Eddie died of lung cancer. Its a heavy book that's for sure, but what a superb band of brothers they were. Chris McDougall

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