BWW Interview: Otis Williams Keeps The Temptations' Name Alive

Surviving. A rock band and a television show may have named themselves after the concept and Gloria Gaynor may have sung about it. For the last 50 years, Otis Williams and the Temptations have lived it out.

The Temptations bring their cavalcade of hit songs and dance moves at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (100 W. Dublin-Granville Rd. in New Albany) 8 p.m. tonight, January 16 as a part of a series of shows across the United States and Europe.

But please don't call the current journey "a tour," Williams says. A tour implies there's a beginning and an end. The Temptations' road show keeps on going and going.

"We consider ourselves more of a working group than a touring one," Williams says. "A tour sounds like you're gone for x amount of months and then the tour is over. We just work continuously year in and year out.

"It can be (exhausting) but you have to love it. The traveling's rough but there's nothing greater than to get out there and see our fans. They're happy to see us and they're waiting to hear those songs again. That makes up for all the traveling."

January will mark the 54th anniversary of the Temptations. Williams, who penned the hit "Treat Her Like A Lady," is the only original member of the Temptations, joining Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, and Bruce Williamson in the current lineup.

The original lineup includEd Williams, Elbridge "Al" Bryant, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams (no relation to Otis) when the vocal groups the Distants and the Primes merged together. In 1964, Bryant was replaced by David Ruffin and the quintet became one of Motown's biggest hit-making machines.




More On: Gloria Gaynor, Otis Williams, The Temptations, Community Center, Bruce Williamson, Ed Williams, Melvin Frank, Paul Williams.

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Paul Batterson In 25 years of working with newspapers and magazines, Paul Batterson has had the pleasure of interviewing wide variety of people, from Phil Campbell of Motorhead to David Hasselhoff to the San Diego chicken. He was born in Columbus, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia and spent three years in Frankfurt, Germany before returning to Columbus. He lives here with his wife, Nancy, and children Alicia and Grant.



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