In Harlem and on Broadway, The Temptations get their due

The Temptations, whose string of hits in the 1960s and 1970s are being celebrated in a Tony-nominated show on Broadway, got a star on the Apollo Theatre’s Walk of Fame in Harlem on Friday.

“It’s like breaking all records of all the things that we’ve done,” said Otis Williams, the only surviving member of the five-man group behind such classics as “Just My Imagination” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.”

“The Apollo honoring The Temptations – phew! Unheard of. But I’m loving it, because this is our home,” Williams told Reuters Television.

The Temptations performed at the Apollo as part of the Motortown Revue in the early 1960s, along with other Motown artists like The Supremes, Stevie Wonder and the Four Tops.

More than fifty years on, the band’s story and music is enjoying a revival with the Broadway musical “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations,” which got 12 Tony award nominations, including best musical.

Friday’s ceremony took place ahead of the Tony awards ceremony on Sunday, where the cast of the show will perform.

Williams said watching the musical was an emotional experience.

“Every time I’ve seen it, it’s been a tear-jerker,” he said.

“We were at the right place at the right time… And we kept polishing up our act,” he said.

Williams, 77, said although it was hard to choose a favorite song, he would have to go with “My Girl” in 1964, which gave the band its first U.S. number one chart hit.

“Once they hear that ‘boom, boom, boom, boom,’ people start standing up like trees growing out of the ground. They love that song,” he said.

Mridha Shihab Mahmud

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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