Whoops. Well, yesterday was Eddie Kendrick’s 76th Birthday. The gossamer falsetto that lead The Temptations rocketing into the American Consciousness at the beginning of 1964 was born December 17th, 1939. Although his legacy eventually got eclipsed by groupmate David Ruffin, his take on African American Male Vulnerability on Vinyl was one of the most nuanced ones, opening the door for late 60’s to Early 70’s supergroups like The Delfonics and The Stylistics.
Other than that, we can thank his multiple orbits around the sun for not only spurring the formation of The Temptations, but also giving the seed moment for Florence Ballard to go “psst, Mary” to Mary Wilson and eventually bringing Diane Ross along for the ride as The Primettes, hungry for opportunities to display their talents, morphed into The Supremes.
So it’s no surprise that I selected this good time from the Fall of ’63 when the old gang of The Primes and Primettes, before their respective leaps into Stardom and Bittersweet Success “play house” in terms of the dating scene. Decidedly a piano pounding throwback, that, maybe if released as a single at the time, might have thrown a decided wrench in the trajectory of Motown’s legendary super groups.
Lifting into high heavens on Eddie’s Falsetto and Florence Ballard’s high flying sopranos, it gives you an amazing glimpse into the magnificent wattage that those individuals brought to their time within the walls of 2648 West Grand Boulevard and Performance venues worldwide. All the while giving you validation to follow your inquiries of heart with full passion.
Thanks Eddie Kendricks for giving space for all of us to share in that radiance, 50+ years down the road, 20+ years after your passing.