With the 20th anniversary of the Temptations released their debut album ‘Meet the Temptations’ today, 55 years ago. The album was released on the Gordy (Motown) later and the lineup consisted of artists Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams and newest Temptation Davis (later David) Ruffin. Due to the fact that Ruffin only joined the act three months before the release, he only appears on ‘The Way You Do The Things You Do’. Elbridge “Al” Bryant, the original Temptation, who was fired from the group in December 1963, features on all of the album’s tracks. Initially, the album was only issued in monaural sound and a stereo remix of the album was made available in 1966. Bonus tracks were added in 1999. Although The Temptations gained local success in the midwest, the group released six singles that did not make it to the Top 100 Pop & R&B charts.
Today, 56 years ago, the first night of a two month Motown Records package tour, The Motortown Revue, started in Washington, DC. Early 1960 tours included performances from Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Barrett Strong and The Contours as headlining acts. Some of the then-second-tier artists who were given the chance to improve their skills included Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and The Temptations. Occasionally, even non-Motown performers such as Otis Redding, Dusty Springfield, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, The Shirelles and Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles were featured on the tours. In the early years of the Motortown Revue, most venues were situated along the “chitlin circuit” in eastern and southern America. Racism at the time, was an issue and African American performers faced threats and attacks from local white residents. Later tours from the mid 60’s branched out to the entire US and later the rest of the world as well.