Two For Tuesday: The Temptations (and Eddie Kendricks)


The Temptations were another band that had success in the early Seventies, putting four songs in the Top Ten for a total orf 26 weeks. In addition, Eddie Kendricks, who left the group in 1970, had two Top Ten singles as a solo act. More on that in a moment.

The group’s last single with Kendricks was “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me).” It reached the Top Ten in March 1971, eventually climbing to #1.

Their next single to chart on the Hot 100 was “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” which reached the Top Ten in November 1972, also climbing to #1. Here’s the full version, all twelve minutes of it.

In the late Sixties, former lead singer David Ruffin was fired by the group, which apparently alienated Eddie Kendricks, who grew resentful, eventually leaving the stage at a performance at the Copacabana in November 1970. He then started a solo career that saw two of his singles reach the Top Ten, “Boogie Down,” which reached the Top Ten in February 1974 and reached #2, and “Keep On Truckin’,” which hit the Top Ten in October 1973 and spent ten weeks there, eventually reaching #1. As a pre-Memorial Day bonus, here’s that song, in its complete form.

Brothers Jim and Kip remember a night at Comiskey Park in the late Sixties where they heard a group of teenagers singing The Temps’ “Psychedelic Shack” and really sounding good on it. I must have been there, being the only White Sox fan in my immediate family, but somehow I missed the performance. Must have been great, because they still talk about it, fifty years later.

The Temptations, your Two For Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

18 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: The Temptations (and Eddie Kendricks)

    1. The Platters were just before my time, but I love their harmonies, and The Temps and Tops are still going with many of their original members.


    1. I liked their psychedelic stuff from the late Sixties. I used to do an impression of them singing “I Can’t Get Next To You,” with the voice changes and everything.

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  1. I love Motown music. Growing up in Chicago, it was pretty much a given. I like how you have “Just My Imagination” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”. I also like The Stones Version of “Just My Imagination”. Thanks, John!


    1. What part of Chicago? We lived in Rogers Park and Northfield until I got married, then Mary and I lived in Back of the Yards for around ten years before moving to Atlanta. I would listen to WJPC and WVON occasionally as well as WLS and WCFL.

      The Stones also did a great version of “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.” They always did more blues and R&B than other bands of that era. They recorded an EP at Chess studios on S Michigan and everything…


    1. As I remember, they went by the name of The Marvels at one time, and The Supremes were the Marvelettes. Hard to imagine there was a time they had trouble getting on Top 40 radio…

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  2. Love the Temptations. I thought the movie they did about the group was pretty good. We may be seeing them this summer at the Mountain Winery with the 4 Tops. I saw them years (and years) ago as a teenager. Great two-for!


  3. I love The Temptations. Not long ago Just My Imagination was playing in my neighborhood diner while I had lunch. The lady in the booth behind me and I sang along. She did the harmony.



    1. I was working at City Hall in Atlanta, and would eat at a McDonald’s across the street. They played old R&B at lunch, and one day a homeless guy and I were doing Al Stewart’s “Show and Tell”…


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