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Watch The Temptations Sing George Harrison In ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ Medley

The 1971 medley has the Temps singing two Motown hits and then George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord.’

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The Temptations - Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
The Temptations - Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

A unique medley by the Temptations, still at the height of their Motown reign, is the latest addition to the official YouTube channel of The Ed Sullivan Show.

Shop the best of the Temptations’ discography on vinyl and more.

The clip dates from the January 31, 1971 edition of the show, which was two months from the end of its regular run in syndication, dating back to 1948. At the time, the Temps were about to enter both the US pop and soul charts with their latest classic-to-be, “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),” which they also performed on this edition. That would feature on the Sky’s The Limit album, which arrived in April. But here we see the peerless quintet dancing their way through a fast-moving medley featuring some interesting song choices.

The show aired in its usual hour-long slot at 8pm on a Sunday night, also featuring fellow guests actor Jim Bailey, comedians Albert Brooks and Stiller & Meara, the duo of Connie Stevens and Peter Gennaro performing a Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire spoof, and fiddler Doug Kershaw.

The Temptations "Ain't No Mountain High Enough, I'll Be There & My Sweet Lord" | Ed Sullivan Show

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The group began the clip by acknowledging one of the most popular Motown copyrights of the era, Ashford & Simpson’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” which had been a hit for both Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell in 1967 and, as her first solo No.1 in 1970, by Diana Ross. From there, the Temptations segued into the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There,” their fourth US No.1, also in 1970, with a rare moment in the lead vocal spot for Otis Williams, before the soon-to-depart Eddie Kendricks, and then co-lead vocalist Dennis Edwards, take over.

More surprising is the group’s choice of song to complete the medley, which is their take George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” George’s version was just completing its run atop the Hot 100 as the Temps gave it their soulful touch, with Edwards again to the fore.

Watch all the latest archival videos from The Ed Sullivan Show on the program’s official YouTube channel.

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