*Just in case you hadn’t thought about it, Otis Williams has been making music with the legendary Temptations for 60 years!
The Texarkana, Texas native first started captivating fans with his deep, lush baritone voice when he was 20 years old. City College Center for the Arts in New York City is going to celebrate the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and multiple Grammy Award® winner with a special live, virtual conversation hosted by musician K. Sparks on Monday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“We’ll sit down and talk, and I’m just looking forward to doing this because here’s another wonderful event that I never would imagine coming to such a legendary honorary school. It is truly a blessing and an honor and a privilege,” Williams told EURweb.com about his upcoming talk that will be streamed on https://citycollegecenterforthearts.org/.
Williams is a lot wiser since he first started in the business after signing a contract with Motown once the group the Elgins (a product of the Primes and the Distants joining forces) changed their name to the Temptations. He remains humble while admitting he began his music career seeking money and fame.
“And I’m shocked that here we are 60 years later because, you know, the business is so fickle. But here we are, 60 years and still being loved by fans and enjoying what we do. So, I am blessed,” the only surviving, original member of the Temptations said.
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The Tempts recently released a new single “Is It Gonna Be Yes or No,” joining forces with another Motown great, Smokey Robinson, who happens to be Williams’ close friend.
“I had asked Smokey. So, who better to be part of this other than Smokey? And he calls me, Oh, okay, yeah, I know. And I asked him. Smokey. I would love for you to be on this album with us, but I want you to write a song, produce the song and don’t let it stop there. I want you to sing with us on this. And he said, OK, whatever you want, I’m there. So here it is. It’s out now and it’s doing very well,” Williams said.
The single will be on a Temptations album slated for release next year. Robinson has been a hitmaker for the group since their early days at Motown: starting with “The Way You Do the Things You Do” and later writing and producing other hits including “My Girl,” “Get Ready” and “Since I Lost My Baby.”
When you look at Williams the old saying “good Black don’t crack” quickly comes to mind. Nobody would ever guess that on his birthday, October 30, he turned 80 years old.
“God is truly in a blessing business. This (music) business, like I say, is so fickle. And if you live, it will weigh you down. But I try and get my rest and try to eat right. Sometimes it’s kind of hard being out on the road like we are,” said Williams, who received an honorary doctorate from Stillman College, an HBCU in Alabama.
Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations recently reopened on Broadway.
By Tené Croom