The Temptations: Can’t Get Next to You

The Temptations singing Can’t Get Next to You after David Ruffin had left the group. Dennis Edwards sings lead but all five Temptations sing a verse in the song while dancing in a stop motion kind of dance in which they would dance then freeze in place at certain parts of the song.

The song went to No.1 on the Billboard charts in 1969. However fouryears after the release Paul Williams would commit suicide after health problems from sickle cell anemia, a drinking problem and bad financial investments that left Williams owing $80,000 in taxes.

Williams apparently ended his life on August 17, 1973 with a gunshot to the left side of his head. His family to this day questions whether it was suicide since he used his right hand to inflict the wound according to the coroner. He was 34 at the time of his death.

Eddie Hendricks who sang the high parts in this song would die at the age of 52 on October 5, 1992 of lung cancer. He sang lead on The Way You Do the Things You Do, Get Ready and Just My Imagination.

He left The Temptations when they had changed their music to a more psychedelic style while breaking away from the ballads they had sung in the past.

The Temptations were not the same group once David Ruffin who developed a cocaine habit, Paul Williams who had choreographed much of the dancing for the group left and then lost Eddie Hendricks.

The group has had many configurations over the years and Otis Williams is the only survivor of the group. To me the real Temptations ended in the 70’s after Ruffin and Hendricks left to pursue solo careers since they sang lead on so many of their hits.

The Temptations DVD featuring videos of their music from 1965-1972 with narration by Otis Williams shows them at the height of their popularity. I have played this video many times since it brings back those special days when the classic group was still singing.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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