The Temptations

Rock musicianMost of the entries in the Favorite Concerts page are classical music concerts, but last night at The Ridgefield Playhouse was another kind of "classical" music — The Temptations. The best word I can think of to describe the concert is "awesome". Otis Williams is the only living member of the original group and he is also the "glue" that ties things together and blends in the old-school creativity while making the music also current. In their fifth decade, the Temptations have a freshness and fire that would be the envy of any musical group of any age. Their dazzling array of songs sung were impressive and on top of the singing the five singers had a lively and perfectly coordinated step.
Watching The Temptations on stage was inspiring. Based on their start in 1961, a little arithmetic will quickly show that most of the performers were 60+. Some looked it, some did not. All of them had great voices and rhythm. If you look at the concert schedules on their website you can see that they are performing almost constantly. Why are they doing this? Why don’t they stop and retire? Some may do it out of loyalty to other members of their group. Some may not know what else to do after being on the circuit for decades. It is possible some lived past their means or did not invest in their future during the hay days and now need the money. Most likely however, is that they are performing so often because they love it. You could see the sparkle in their eyes and the spring in their step. As the audience raved, the performers were inspired, and the cycle continued. Joe Herndon, the bass singer, came out on stage after the concert and helped with a charity auction that part of the event. You could tell he loves people. You could see the sincerity in their eyes as all the singers shook hands with concert goers. The legendary G.C. Cameron, formerly of the Spinners, said that he was "blessed" to be able to sing with The Temptations. I think he meant it. They finished with "My Girl" — one of their many all-time hits. It was a great night.

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