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The Temptations & Four Tops

Sunday, December 10, 2023 @ 7:00pm



Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC)
30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ 07631

The Temptations, often referred to as “American Music Royalty,” are world-renowned superstars of entertainment, revered for their phenomenal catalog of music and prolific career. Named the “#1 R&B/Hip Hop Artists of All Time” and one of the “125 Greatest of All Time Artists” by Billboard magazine, as well as one of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” by Rolling Stone Magazine, the group is truly a beloved national treasure. The Temptations’ heritage, influence, and contributions to, not only American culture and African American communities but also to the global music landscape are monumental. The influence that the Temptations have had on mainstream and global artists is undeniable. 

The group’s 60-year history spans both the 20th and 21st centuries and their music transcends generations. The Temptations’ story is a road map through American history. What began in Detroit, when a remarkable combination of soulful voices united, was the genesis of an epic journey that introduced multiple superstars to the world and produced some of the greatest music of our era. 

They were among the first African American musical artists to crossover into mainstream America and appear on popular, national mainstream television programs, such as The Ed Sullivan Show, and The Hollywood Palace. The group’s star power was so striking that these top-rated, national programs, and many others, scheduled appearances for the Temptations multiple times during a single year. At the time, this was an unparalleled accomplishment for African American entertainers. 

While the group has evolved over the years, Dr. Otis Williams has continued to lead the group and carry the torch forward for the next generation of Temptations’ fans. 

The Temptations, throughout the group’s evolution, have produced 53 Billboard Hot 100 Hit singles, including four that became #1 Pop singles: “My Girl,” “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” Additionally, they released 43 Top 10 R&B hit singles, 14 of which were #1 R&B hits, including timeless classics such as “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep,” “I Wish It Would Rain,” and songs influenced by their funk/psychedelic soul sound including “Happy People,” and “Shakey Ground.” The group also has 16 #1 R&B Albums. In 1974, the group was the very first to be awarded “Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/ Group” at the inaugural American Music Awards.   

In 1983, Ron Tyson, one of the group’s current lead vocalists, joined the Temptations. That same year, the televised anniversary special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, aired on NBC-TV and the extraordinary battle between the Temptations and the Four Tops led to a road tour of the two groups, famously called the “T’NT” tour. The two legendary groups still perform together today while on their respective concert tours. 

Dr. Otis Williams, the sole surviving original Temptation, Ron Tyson, a lead vocalist with the group for 37 years, Terry Weeks, a lead vocalist for 23 years, Willie Greene, Jr., bass vocalist with the group for four years, and Mario Corbino, who joined the group this year, always look forward to serenading fans with their soulful voices, lighting up stages with their famous Temptations’ Walk, and bringing joy to audiences of all ages. 



After signing with Motown’s Berry Gordy Jr., The Four Tops were an instant success. Their first Motown hit, “Baby I Need Your Loving” in 1964, made them stars and their sixties track record on the label is indispensable to any retrospective of the decade. Their songs, soulful and bittersweet, were across-the-board successes. “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” a no. 1 R&B and Pop smash in 1965, is one of Motown’s longest-running chart toppers; it was quickly followed by a longtime favorite, “It’s The Same Old Song” (no. 2 R&B/no. 5 pop). Their commercial peak was highlighted by a romantic trilogy: the no. 1 “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Standing In The Shadows Of Love” (no. 2 R&B/no. 6 pop) and “Bernadette” (no. 3 R&B/no. 4 pop)—an extraordinary run of instant H-D-H classics. Other Tops hits from the decade included “Ask The Lonely,” “Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over),” “Something About You,” “You Keep Running Away,” “7-Rooms Of Gloom” and their covers of “Walk Away Renee” and “If I Were A Carpenter.”  

After H-D-H split from Motown, producer Frank Wilson supervised the R&B Top 10 hits “It’s All In The Game” and “Still Water (Love)” at the start of the seventies. The Tops also teamed with Motown’s top girl group, the Supremes, post-Diana Ross. Billing themselves The Magnificent Seven for a series of albums, they hit with a cover of “River Deep - Mountain High.” 

When Motown left Detroit in 1972 to move to Los Angeles, the steadfast Tops decided to stay at home, and with another label. They kept up a string of hits with ABC-Dunhill for the next few years: “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got),” a Top 5 hit; the Top 10 “Keeper Of The Castle”; and the R&B Top 10’s “Are You Man Enough (from the movie Shaft In Africa),” “Sweet Understanding Love,” “One Chain Don’t Make No Prison” (later covered by Santana), “Midnight Flower” and the disco perennial “Catfish.” 

In 1980 the group moved to Casablanca Records. The following year they were at no. 1 again, with “When She Was My Girl,” making them one of the few groups to have hits in three consecutive decades. They also scored R&B Top 40s with the ballads “Tonight I’m Gonna Love You All Over” and “I Believe In You And Me,” the original version of the 1996 Whitney Houston smash. And the Tops were heard in the film Grease 2 with “Back To School Again.” By 1983, riding the wave of the company’s 25th anniversary celebration, the Tops were back with Motown and H-D-H. The reunion resulted in the R&B Top 40 hits “I Just Can’t Walk Away” and “Sexy Ways.”  

They signed with Arista later in the decade, and there they racked up their final solo Top 40 hit, “Indestructible,” which was the theme of the 1988 Summer Olympics. That year they also partnered with Aretha Franklin, a longtime friend from Detroit, for the Top 40 R&B “If Ever A Love There Was.” During this period, Stubbs stepped out and gained notoriety for voicing the man-eating plant Audrey II in the film musical Little Shop Of Horrors, for which he sang the cult classic “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space.”  

In 1990, with 24 Top 40 pop hits to their credit, the Four Tops were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. For Rolling Stone’s 2004 article “The Immortals – The Greatest Artists Of All Time,” Smokey Robinson remembered: “They were the best in my neighborhood in Detroit when I was growing up (and) the Four Tops will always be one of the biggest and the best groups ever. Their music is forever.” 




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