Prove the Spirit of Motown is Alive and Well!
The Temptations and The Four Tops played to an enthusiastic crowd at Chastain Park Amphitheatre. The founding members of the Four Tops – Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton – performed together for more than four decades. Fakir is the only surviving member of the original group. The Temptations’ original lineup included Otis Wiliams, Elbridge "Al" Bryant, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams. Throughout the years, many singers came and went, but the group always remained true to their tradition and continued to produce hits. Their classic lineup was Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin. Otis Williams is the only living original member still in the lineup.
Guests arrived early and mingled prior to the show. The venue allowed outside food and beverages to be brought in and many people took advantage by setting up tv trays with food, drinks and candles. Tables could be reserved right in front of the stage for parties of up to six people. There was a lawn section in the rear where people could spread out blankets, picnic baskets and coolers.
I spoke with several fans as they ate, drank and waited for show time. Chad Brock had a 12-pack of Pacifico, his favorite beer. He shared one with me as we chatted. He said he really respected the history that was represented by these two legendary groups. Although he was too young to remember their songs from the 60’s and 70’s, he was familiar with them and looked forward to seeing them perform many of their classic hits which were “oldies but goodies.”
Long-time fan, Neal Reynolds, was there with his wife of 34 years. They were excited to see The Temptations and The Four Tops who were “tops” back in their day. They enjoyed the “feel good” music as they celebrated and looked forward to many more years ahead.
The revamped Four Tops and Temptations sang hit after hit including Motown era anthems such as "Standing in the Shadow of Love," "I Can't Help Myself, "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," "Just My Imagination" and "My Girl." It was a hot and humid night, but that didn’t keep The Temptations from wearing their flashy suits, showing off their choreographed dance moves and belting out the tunes as we enjoyed great music under the stars. The songs maintained their instant familiarity. You could feel the excitement in the crowd. Many people jumped to their feet or sang along as they recognized one familiar tune after the next.
Both of these groups will certainly go down in history as legends of the Motown era with many accomplishments to their credit. The Four Tops received The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. The Temptations received an Emmy for an NBC mini-series which chronicled the group’s history. The Temptations' credits also include 3 Grammy awards, 4 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles and 14 Billboard R&B #1 singles. They are still working on new music and releasing new CD’s quite frequently. This show was thoroughly enjoyed by fans young and old.
@Chastain Park Amphitheatre
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