Dated: Saturday, 02/10/2007
With hits such as "It's Growing," "Since I Lost My Baby," "Get Ready," "Ain't to Proud to Beg," and "My Girl," its no wonder they are still around performing all over the world. According to The Temptations official website, "The crowds are bigger. The sales (of CD) are sizzling. The outpouring of affection for this group has never been greater." I interviewed Otis Williams, the only living original member of The Temptations here what he had to say about "Good music will always prevail."
PA: After all these years, what is the driving force behind making good music and performing for your fans?
OW: "Bottom line you got to love it." It is my passion. I enjoy the challenge to make good music. Not many people can say they enjoy what they do for a living but I can. I always love recording and performing for my fans. "I believe great music will always prevail."
PA: Speaking of fans, in my family there are 3 generations that enjoy and appreciate the music of The Temptations in fact my daughters have a few of your songs on their iPods. How does that make you feel to know that your music is appreciated by fans of all ages?
OW: That's wonderful. I believe good music reaches all audiences. Good music is colorless. Good music does not know ethnicity. I believe that is why our mu-sic crosses over and reaches a wide range of fans.
PA: Who came up with the name for The Temptations?
OW: Well, our first name was called The Elgins and we found out there was another group call The Elgins so one day we were kicking around some names and Bill Mitchell came up with The Temptations so I asked Paul Williams and he said whatever sounds good so we all decided on The Temptations.
PA: What do you think of the music of today?
OW: I am not impressed. Not impressed at all. Singers today have no imagination. They do not have a fair understanding of music and melody. Just the other day I was in my truck listening to the radio and this song came on and the woman was cussing talking about come get your sh**. Cussing on a record was unheard of when I started out. And even today I would not think of doing something like that. That's not what music is all about. These singers are really loosing it.
PA: Are there any singers today who you do admire?
OW: Alicia Keys. She is the only one who comes to mind right now. So you see that's not good and not saying much for the record business. I grew up
watching the greats coming up with melodies and good music.
PA: Do you have children and are they in the recording business?
OW: Yes I do. I have one son and one daughter. My daughter lives in London she is not in the recording business however, my son is. He is a drummer and plays in a band in California. He knows a lot about music because he was always around it.
PA: Besides performing what do you like to do in your spare time?
OW: I like to paint, sketch and go to the gym. I also collect DVD's and enjoy going to the mall.
PA: What is one of your fondest memories with the original members of The Temptations?
OW: Oh there are so many. Ok, One night we were finishing up a concert in San Diego and the crowd was trying to come up on the stage. We went out back and not knowing what to do David and Paul ran and went one way, Melvin and I ran and went another way. We didn't know what happent to Eddy. Eddy decided to climb the fence and when he did the girls got a hold of his pants. He came back to the hotel in his shorts. We laughed so hard that night.
PA: Mr. Williams I know you have to catch a plane so I will not keep you. Thank you for your time. Take care and God Bless.
OW: You're very welcome and take care Don't miss your chance to see The Temptations next performance at the Providence Performing Arts Center February 17th. For more information refer to the Nightlife/Entertainment page in this issue.