Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Eddie Kendricks!

Eddie Kendricks, one of the founding members of the great Temptations, was born on December 17, 1939. He was born in Alabama and was good friends with another co-founder, Paul Williams. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that they found themselves in Detroit in the late 50s and joined up with Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, and David Ruffin to become The Temptations.

The lead vocal would rotate between most of them, with Eddie singing his high tenor on such songs as "The Way You Do The Things You Do" and "Get Ready." When he wasn't singing lead you could always hear his angelic tones in the background harmonies. 

After there were some internal conflicts and Paul Williams left the group Eddie soon followed. The last Temptations song with both of them recording on it was the 1971 mega-hit, "Just My Imagination."

(L-R) Eddie, Paul, Otis, Melvin, David
Eddie had a few solo hits, most notably the dance-influenced "Keep On Trucking," a Number One hit from 1973. 

In 1987 he went on-stage with Darryl Hall & John Oates at The Apollo. This concert was recorded and released as an album. I had the cassette tape and I wore the *hell* out of it listening to the clip I'm presenting below. It showcases Eddie's talent at singing the lead as well as the back-up. If you watch it, see how much fun he seems to be having; he grabs Darryl's and John's hands twice to take a group bow. He just seemed to be enjoying himself.

Eddie Kendricks smoked the majority of his life. He died of lung cancer on October 5, 1992. The world lost a beautiful voice.

Happy Birthday, Eddie Kendricks! 

1 comment:

  1. Great, great Eddie. His voice was perfection. I wish he had sang many more songs to show his versatility and tone. During his era, the singers never received the proper monetary support. Their voices were copied many times over and has made and continues to make the record executives and song writers millionaires many times over. I don't like to even look at Barry Gordy. He ought to be ashamed of himself. The Temptations were the best thing that ever happened to Gordy.