WHO: Dennis Edwards.
HOMETOWN: Birmingham, Alabama.
WHAT HE’S UP TO NOW: Singing and performing as part of The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards.
THE STORY: The legendary Temptations were once the most popular male singing group in the universe, cranking out hits like “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “My Girl” and “I Wish It Would Rain.” Those hits were destined to become Motown classics, but the original lineup wasn’t destined to stay together forever. When David Ruffin’s increasing personal problems (including a tumultuous relationship with Motown star Tammi Terrell) led to his departure from the group, Edwards, a former member of The Contours, was drafted to fill in the obviously large shoes of the Temps’ original member. Since the two were friends, at first Ruffin was fine, but as detailed in the TV movie about the group, he soon began to have issues with Edwards as his replacement and would jump onstage during performances when he was singing lead.
Edwards is credited as ushering in the Temptations’ “psychedelic soul” era, in which the Motown classic sound of the 60’s moved into the harder-edged sound of the 70’s. Edwards sang leads on Grammy winning Temps songs like “Cloud Nine” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” from that period. Unlike the stable Four Tops, whose original core stayed together, the Temps changed lineups several times. Edwards was hired and fired a few times until ultimately achieving solo success in 1984 with “Don’t Look Any Further,” a duet with Siedah Garrett. But that success was short-lived, and Edwards ultimately went back to the Temps association that had made him famous in the first place. He, David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks reunited for a successful tour before the untimely deaths of Ruffin and Kendricks. Now, after a battle with Temps defacto leader Otis Williams over the rights to the Temptations name, he now performs with The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards. Edwards is in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Temps and the Alabama Hall of Fame.
Check out a clip of The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards here.