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TEMPTATIONS & SUPREMES:

In the 1970’s, after Diana Ross had left the Supremes, Mary Wilson and the Supremes were invited to perform in Sun City, South Africa during the ‘apartheid era.’  They were offered an astronomical amount to perform at a luxury resort, ‘for whites only.’  What was even more surprising, in the contract, it stated, if they should accept the offer, they would be given ‘honorary white status.’

The Temptations are my all-time favorite male group; they were original with flashy dance steps and classic songs.  During their peak; they had the best bass, tenor and baritone in the business.  They were the total package.  Years later, when group member replacements were recruited, one of the requirements, 'you had to be 6'0 feet or over.'

Otis Williams was the most business minded of the group and David Ruffin was the more reckless one, despite his talent. Ruffin started off singing background vocals for the Temptations until November 1964, when songwriter/producer Smokey Robinson wrote a single especially for Ruffin to sing lead on. That song, "My Girl,' became the goups's first number one single and signature song.  Ruffin (who was group member’s Melvin Franklin’s distant cousin) often missed rehearsal but when show time came around, he made every step on cue.  His ego got out of control, and over time, he refused to travel with the Temptations, he and his then-girlfriend Tammi Terrell traveled in a custom limo.  After he was kicked out of the group, he had a few hits-his last hit ‘Walk Away From Love’ was produced by Van McCoy (The Hustle).

Shortly after producing the hit, Van McCoy would die at the age of 39 of a massive heart attack.  Drug use would ultimately affect Ruffin’s voice and contrary to popular belief, his body was ‘not’ randomly found in the middle of the street, nor did it lay unclaimed in a morgue for over a week. Instead, Ruffin’s chauffeur drove him to the hospital, identifying him as “David Ruffin Of The Temptations.” A few days later, Ruffin’s children claimed the body.  Also, in ‘The Temptations,’ mini-series, Melvin Franklin was in a wheelchair.  In real life, allegedly, Franklin died of a flesh eating disease (necrotizing fascitis).  Otis Williams (last original member) not Berry Gordy, owns the ‘Temptations,’ name and likeness.

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