In 1961, a merger between two local Detroit groups – the Primes and the Distants – created a definitive music group that would prove to stand the test of time – The Temptations.

Terry Weeks, a member of the Temptations for almost 10 years, took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to the Campus Times about the past success of The Temptations and what students and parents can expect to hear during their concert Friday night.

In 1995, Terry Weeks had already experienced the hectic world of the music industry. He had been a part of a small group called “For Lovers Only,” formed in 1994, and had done some solo songs for the record label Motown – the label that represented The Temptations. Around that time, one of the members of the group took time off in order to undergo throat surgery and due to Weeks’ previous experience with Motown, he was asked to help out temporarily. Weeks was made a permanent group member in 1997, as the original member decided to pursue a solo career after the surgery.

“[It was] terrifying to begin with so much history,” Weeks said. “[I] grew up listening to this group.”

The Temptations have been around for 44 years and over these years have generated many timeless hits, such as 1965’s signature song “My Girl,” 1966’s “Get Ready” and 1968’s “I Wish It Would Rain.”

“[Their] music broke down racial barriers, [which it] still does today,” Weeks said, when asked about the reason for the group’s success. “When you attend [our] concerts, [there are] four generations singing and dancing together.”

After so many years, the group has undergone many changes to the initial line-up. The only original member that remains in the group is Otis Williams. Despite this changing line-up, The Temptations are as good as ever.

“It’s strange,” Weeks said. “It’s as if we are getting closer to the original sound.”

Despite this strange evolution, Weeks does not deny the fact that The Temptations have evolved over the past 44 years.

“In this business, you can’t be in it without changing. [The music is a] double-edged sword.”

But the change has not been significant.

“The beauty of it is we still cover the old catalog,” Weeks said.

The changes that occur are a reflection of the group’s changing dynamics and the new songs represent things they know about.

This is not the first time that The Temptations have played in Rochester – however, two of its recent members have not yet performed here. The Temptations, nonetheless, are not unfamiliar with performing for a college audience with a mix of students and parents.

“[It] surprises us that such a young audience still sings the songs,” Weeks said.

“[It’s a] curse in a sense,” Weeks said, due to the fact that their concert goers have such varying songs preferences.

Currently, The Temptations are in Los Angeles completing yet another CD, titled “Reflection,” to be released in January 2006.

“[It’s the] first CD covering songs from the Motown catalog,” Weeks said.

Don’t forget to catch Terry Weeks and his fellow band members at 9 p.m. on Friday in the Palestra. The Temptations’ timelessness, superior vocal harmonies and choreography are sure to create a show that should not be missed.

Smith can be reached at msmith@campustimes.org.



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