Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Temptations

Imagine the ignominy of having a hit single, only to have another group usurp your name and run away with it.

So it was with The Temptations, a white doo-wop group who put exactly one record into the pop charts, only to have Motown foist the better known Temptations on the world a few years later.

Interesting, because the English Drifters had to become The Shadows (The US already had The Drifters), and decades later, the American group Bush had to call themselves BushX when members of the long-defunct Canadian group Bush obtained an injunction against another Bush in Canada.

But The Temptations, nobody made a fuss, and now any mention of The Temptations brings to mind My Girl, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Psychedelic Shack, Ain’t Too Proud To Be, that kind of thing. Any reference to the other Temptations has to be qualified with “white group,” or “New York group” or “the group that did Barbara.”

I got their one and only hit from The Doo Wop Box.

The Temptations:

Barbara – This is a text book example of doo wop. I don’t know how authentic it sounded when it was a hit in the summer of 1960, but now it could serve as a stand in example of the genre, except for one thing – the lead singer has a Nashville accent. I had a classmate in grade 6 named Barbara. She was contemptuous of me at first, but we were friends by the end of the year. In grade 7 she was in an all girls’ class, and after that she left the school, and I never saw her again. “Barbara my love…

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