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.

Two for Tuesday: John Denver

First: John Denver is no relation to Bob Denver from Gilligan’s Island and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. John’s actual last name is Deutschendorf, which explains why he changed it to Denver. That, and he was really into Colorado. He placed four songs in the Top Ten during the early Seventies for a total of 26 weeks there. He had two #1’s, both in 1974.

His first #1 was “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” which was released in late 1973 and reached the Top Ten in March 1974.

His second was “Annie’s Song,” which reached the Top Ten in June.

John had a long and successful career from the Sixties to the Nineties, in film and television as well as his recordings. He died in 1997 when the plane he was flying crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

John Denver, your Two for Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Two For Tuesday: Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr, The Beatles’ legendary drummer who sang a couple of songs with The Fab Four, had five top ten hits that spent a total of 26 weeks during my high school days. Two of them reached #1, both within a few months of each other.

His first #1 was “Photograph,” which he co-wrote with fellow Former Fab George Harrison. It spent seven weeks in the top ten in November 1973.

His second, a cover of Johnny Burnette’s “You’re Sixteen,” entered the top ten in January 1974 and spent six weeks there.

Ringo is still at it, and as of last June was working on an album with his All-Starr Band. He’s considered one of the most distinctive rock drummers of all time.

Ringo Starr, your Two For Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

Two for Tuesday: Paul McCartney & Wings

The former Beatles did well in the years after their breakup. Paul McCartney released his first solo album, 1970’s McCartney, as a way of telling the world of the breakup, even though John Lennon had left the group the previous year and was already doing solo projects with his wife Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band.

McCartney released Ram, credited to himself and wife Linda, in 1971, then formed the group Wings later that year. The group consisted of Paul on multiple instruments (bass, guitar, keyboards etc.), Linda on keyboards, Denny Laine (formerly of The Moody Blues) on guitar, and Denny Seiwell on drums. The group released Wild Life in 1971, and Red Rose Speedway and Band on the Run in 1973. Wings managed to replace three lead guitarists and four drummers before permanently disbanding in 1981.

The first #1 hit for Wings was “My Love,” from Red Rose Speedway. It spent nine weeks in the top ten in early summer 1973.

Their next #1 was “Band On The Run,” the title track from their 1973 release. It spent seven weeks in the top ten in early summer 1974.

In total, Wings had 14 top ten singles in the US, including six number one hits.

Paul McCartney & Wings, your Two for Tuesday, May 2, 2017.

Two For Tuesday: Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye had five hits in the Top Ten of the Hot 100 in the early Seventies, spending a total of thirty weeks there. Thirteen of those thirty weeks were for his mega-hit “Let’s Get It On,” a #1 for him in 1973. As a bonus, this video includes the B side, “Heaven Must Have Sent You.”

His second-biggest hit on the Hot 100 was 1971’s “What’s Goin’ On,” which reached #2 and spent eight weeks in the Top Ten.

Marvin was shot to death by his father, Marvin Gay Sr., on April 1, 1984, after Marvin intervened in an argument between his parents. The elder Gay agreed to a plea bargain, pleading guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter and receiving a suspended sentence and probation. At his sentencing hearing, his father said, “If I could bring him back, I would. I was afraid of him. I thought I was going to get hurt. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I’m really sorry for everything that happened. I loved him. I wish he could step through this door right now. I’m paying the price now.” The whole story is on Wikipedia.

Marvin Gaye, your Two for Tuesday, April 25, 2017.