The Temptations’ co-founder Otis Williams featured today (29) on a segment in the Mornings Mixtape series on CBS Mornings. The feature delves into the history of some of the most iconic songs in pop history, today touching on the Emperors of Soul’s undying “My Girl” and prompting a visit by host Gayle King to Studio A at the Motown Museum in Detroit, to meet the man affectionately known as “Big Daddy.”
“This studio is very special,” says Williams. “Every time I come to Detroit, I have to come by Motown, and I wonder if the ghosts are still here.” He described many of his former colleagues in the group’s 60-year history, often in a single word (Dennis Edwards: “power,” Eddie Kendricks: “sweetness,” David Ruffin: “showman”), and talked about the challenges and changes that the group had to endure.
“See, the name Temptations can stand not only for joy, but it can be tempting in the sense of some things that we should not do,” Williams confided, “and that happened to my group. I call myself the Henry Kissinger of the group, because I’ve had to come between Paul [Williams] and Eddie, Melvyn [Franklin] and Eddie, David and Eddie. I knew we had a good thing, and I wanted to keep it together.”
Williams is seen in the segment walking King through the halls of the Motown Museum to examine vintage images of the group, and later they surprise some of those who were auditioning for future roles in the hit musical based on their story, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. Viewers also saw footage of theatre-goers welcoming Otis at the show’s latest, recent premier at the Detroit Opera House, where its run ended last night (28).
The modern-day Temptations continue their tireless touring schedule at the Minnesota State Fair tonight, with further US dates until September 11. They then cross the Atlantic to reunite with their ever-loyal British fans on another double-headline tour with the Four Tops, including a show at The O2 on October 11, after which the two groups play shows throughout Europe, ending in Hamburg on October 31.