The Temptations's heyday was the 60s and 70s. And yet, with only one original member left, they're enjoying a comeback.
The musical "Ain't Too Proud" is a Broadway hit. Now, the Apollo Theater has inducted the Motown hitmakers into its Walk of Fame. Surviving Member Otis Williams remembers their trepidation performing at the Apollo for the first time in 1963.
"We had always heard about the Apollo Theater, that if you do not do well, they will let you know," Williams recalled. "They will call you out, they will boo you, all those kinds of things."
(Otis Williams of The Temptations poses with the musical group's plaque at the Apollo Theater Walk of Fame on June 7, 2019. Christopher Jacobs and Stephanie Simon/NY1.)
"So we were kind of scared when we came here the first time, backing up Mary Wells," Williams continued. "And then after, we started coming on our own, and we just kept coming back and coming back."
"It's a very special honor to be honored here at the Apollo," Williams said.
The plaque was unveiled under the theater's marquis.
"I wish David, Eddie, Paul, Melvin, and most recently Dennis Edwards could be here to share these wonderful honors," Williams told me. "So that's the sad part about it."
"But God left me here for a reason, and I'm carrying it on in their stead. So it's a blessing," Williams said.
(Otis Williams of The Temptations says the legendary group had, believe it or not, trepidation performing at the Apollo for the first time in 1963. Christopher Jacobs and Stephanie Simon/NY1.)
The official ceremony went long because, yes, the speakers broke into song, and the crowd joined in too.
The songs, the style, and the moves led the group to the heights of global fame. But, Williams, who still performs, also credits their success to their height.
Simon: Are you saying that's one of the reasons you looked so good on stage together? Because you were the same height?
Williams: I think that has a lot to do with … our image. We were all six-footers and slim, so whatever suits we put on looked real good for us, and the girls went crazy over there. Yeah, it was a blessing.
The Temptations join icons in the Walk of Fame, like Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Smokey Robinson, who performed at the Apollo and made a mark on American culture.
"It's about access," Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes said. "Whether the building is open or whether it's closed, you can have that moment."
"You can have your picture moment, you can have your moment to remember, to reflect to honor, to celebrate right under our marquis," Forbes added.
- Best of the 2018-19 Broadway Season - Part 1
- Best of the 2018-19 Broadway Season - Part 2
- Best of the 2018-19 Broadway Season - Part 3
The legendary Apollo Theater celebrating one of the legendary groups of all time.
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