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|Birth name||David Melvin English|
|Born||October 12, 1942|
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|Died||February 23, 1995 52) (aged|
Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
|Associated acts||The Temptations (1960-1994)|
David Melvin English (October 12, 1942 – February 23, 1995) better known by the stage name Melvin Franklin, or his nickname "Blue", was an American bass singer. Franklin was best known for his role as a founding member of Motown singing group The Temptations from 1960 to 1994.
David English was born in Montgomery, Alabama to Rose English, a teenage mother from nearby Mobile.His biological father was the preacher of the English family's church in Mobile; he impregnated her through rape. Following David's birth, Rose English married Willard Franklin and moved to Detroit, her grandmother insisting young David be left behind in her care. David English finally moved to Detroit with his mother and stepfather in 1952 at age ten.
Taking on his stepfather's surname for his stage name as a teenager, David English—now Melvin Franklin—was a member of a number of local singing groups in Detroit, including The Voice Masters with Lamont Dozier and David Ruffin, and frequently performed with Richard Street. Franklin often referred to Street and Ruffin as his "cousins".
In 1958, a classmate of Franklin's at Detroit's Northwestern High School, Otis Williams, invited Franklin to join his singing group, Otis Williams and the Siberians. Franklin joined the group as its bass singer, and remained with Williams and Elbridge Bryant when they, Paul Williams, and Eddie Kendricks formed The Elgins in late 1960. In March 1961, the Elgins signed with Motown Records under a new name; The Temptations. He had a fondness for the color blue, and so he was nicknamed "Blue" by fellow singers. According to Otis Williams, Franklin romantically pursued Supremes singer Mary Wilson at one point.
Otis and Melvin were the only founding Temptations who never left the group. One of the most famous bass singers in music over his long career, Franklin's deep vocals became one of the group's signature trademarks. Franklin sang a handful of featured leads with the group as well, including the songs "I Truly, Truly Believe" ( The Temptations Wish It Would Rain , 1968), "Silent Night" (Give Love At Christmas, 1980), "The Prophet" ( A Song for You , 1975), and his signature live performance number, "Ol' Man River". Franklin was usually called upon to deliver ad-libs, harmony vocals, and, during the psychedelic soul era, notable sections of the main verses. His line from The Temptations' 1970 #3 hit "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", "and the band played on", became Franklin's trademark.
In the late 1960s, Franklin was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms of which he combated with cortisone so that he could continue performing. The constant use of cortisone left his immune system open to other infections and health problems; as a result Franklin developed diabetes in the early 1980s and later contracted necrotizing fasciitis. In 1978, he was shot in the hand and leg while trying to stop a man from stealing his car in Los Angeles.The incident prevented Franklin from participating in the Temptations' upcoming tour of Poland, which at the time was still behind the Iron Curtain.
On February 15, 1995, after a series of seizures, Franklin fell into a coma and remained unconscious until his death on February 23, 1995.
He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles.
In addition to singing, Franklin also worked as a voice actor. In 1984, he provided the voice for the character of "Wheels" in the animated series Pole Position. He also appeared in the movie Sky Bandits in 1986.
In 1989, Franklin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Temptations.On August 17, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, Melvin Franklin was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame as a member of The Temptations. On February 9, 2013, his wife received the lifetime achievement award on his behalf.
In 1998, NBC aired The Temptations , a four-hour television miniseries based upon an autobiographical book by Otis Williams. Franklin was portrayed by actor D. B. Woodside.
The Temptations are an American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group's work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.
Paul Williams was an American baritone singer and choreographer. Williams was noted for being one of the founding members and original lead singer of the Motown group The Temptations. Along with Elbridge "Al" Bryant, Otis Williams, and fellow Alabamians Eddie Kendricks and Melvin Franklin, Williams was a member of The Temptations. Personal problems and failing health forced Williams to retire in 1971. He was found dead two years later as the result of an apparent suicide.
Edward James Kendrick, best known by the stage name Eddie Kendricks, was an American singer and songwriter. Noted for his distinctive falsetto singing style, Kendricks co-founded the Motown singing group The Temptations, and was one of their lead singers from 1960 until 1971. He was the lead voice on such famous songs as "The Way You Do the Things You Do", "Get Ready", and "Just My Imagination ". As a solo artist, Kendricks recorded several hits of his own during the 1970s, including the number-one single "Keep On Truckin'".
Otis Williams is an American baritone singer. Nicknamed "Big Daddy", he is occasionally also a songwriter and a record producer.
David Eli Ruffin was an American soul singer and musician most famous for his work as one of the lead singers of the Temptations (1964–68) during the group's "Classic Five" period as it was later known. He was the lead voice on such famous songs as "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."
Dennis Edwards Jr. was an American soul and R&B singer who was best known as the frontman in The Temptations, on Motown Records. Edwards joined the Temptations in 1968, replacing David Ruffin and sang with the group from 1968 to 1976, 1980 to 1984 and 1987 to 1989. In the mid-1980s, he attempted a solo career, scoring a hit in 1984 with "Don't Look Any Further". Until his death, Edwards was the lead singer of The Temptations Review, a Temptations splinter group.
The Temptations is a four-hour television miniseries broadcast in two-hour halves on NBC, based upon the history of one of Motown's longest-lived acts, The Temptations. Executive produced by former Motown executive Suzanne de Passe, produced by Otis Williams and Temptations manager Shelley Berger, and based upon Williams’ Temptations autobiography, the miniseries was originally broadcast on November 1 and November 2, 1998. It was filmed on location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 1998. Allan Arkush directed the miniseries.
"Since I Lost My Baby" is a 1965 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Motown Records' Gordy label. Written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore and produced by Robinson, the song was a top 20 pop single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, on which it peaked at number 17. On Billboard's R&B singles chart, "Since I Lost My Baby" peaked at number four.
"Don't Look Back" is a 1965 song recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. The flip side to their Top 20 hit "My Baby", "Don't Look Back" broke out and became a hit among the R&B audience on its own, reaching #14 on the R&B charts.
Solid Rock is a 1972 album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label, produced by Norman Whitfield. The LP was the first made primarily without founding members and original lead singers Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams. Frustrated by conflicts and fights with Temptations Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, and producer Whitfield's steadfast insistence on producing psychedelic soul for the group when they really wanted to sing ballads, Kendricks had quit the act and negotiated a solo deal with Motown's Tamla label.
"Superstar " is a 1971 hit single for the Gordy (Motown) label, recorded by The Temptations and produced by Norman Whitfield. Something of an early ancestor to the "diss songs" prevalent in hip hop music towards the end of the 20th century, "Superstar" is an attack at two former Temptations members, David Ruffin and his cohort Eddie Kendricks. The song appears on the 1972 album Solid Rock.
Meet the Temptations is the debut studio album by the Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label released in 1964. It includes most of the group's early singles, excluding only the first, "Oh Mother of Mine", and its b-side, "Romance Without Finance" ; as well as the single "Mind Over Matter", in which the group is credited as The Pirates. The album consists entirely of previously released singles, including the group's first hit single, "The Way You Do the Things You Do".
The Temptations in a Mellow Mood is a studio album by the Temptations, released in 1967 by Motown Records. Composed primarily of pop standards such as "Ol' Man River" and "For Once in My Life", and similar songs written by Holland-Dozier-Holland and other Motown staff songwriters, the Mellow Mood album was part of Motown chief Berry Gordy's crossover plans for the group. Gordy wanted the Temptations, already the most popular male group among black audiences, to attract a large white fanbase and be able to secure playdates at supper clubs like the Copacabana, where the group had first performed in the summer of 1967.
Cloud Nine is the ninth studio album by American musical group The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label released in 1969.
The Temptations with a Lot o' Soul is the fifth studio album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label released in 1967. Featuring four hit singles, With a Lot o' Soul is the most successful Temptations album from their "classic 5" era, during which David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams constituted the Temptations' lineup.
Temptations Live! is the first live album to be released by The Temptations. The album was recorded on October 3, 1966 at the Roostertail in Detroit, Michigan. The album cover photograph was taken on March 1966 at The 20 Grand, 14th and Warren in Detroit, Michigan, and the album was released on Gordy (Motown) Records in 1967. The album features David Ruffin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams performing their regular live repertoire for a highly receptive crowd mostly consisting of young women. Included in the set are Temptations hits such as "My Girl", "My Baby", "Get Ready", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", "Don't Look Back", and the group's then-current single, "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep". Out of the several live albums the group recorded during their career, this is the only one to feature David Ruffin. The album remained on the Billboard 200 album chart for 51 weeks peaking at number 10.
The Temptations Wish It Would Rain is a studio album by the Temptations, released in 1968 via Gordy Records. It was the final release from the group's "Classic-5" era, during which David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams constituted the Temptations' lineup.
"(Loneliness Made Me Realize) It's You That I Need" is a 1963 song that became a 1967 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label, produced and co-written by Norman Whitfield. This is one of the small handful of pre-psychedelic era songs the group recorded that had more than two members singing lead at one point, and the only one that charted. It peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop charts in the Top 20 at number 14, and in the Billboard R&B charts at number 3.
"It's Growing" is a 1965 hit single by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. Written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore and produced by Robinson, the song was a top 20 pop single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, on which it peaked at number 18. On Billboard's R&B singles chart, "It's Growing" peaked at number 3.
"Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got" is a 1967 Soul song, originally recorded and made a hit by Jimmy Ruffin on Motown's Soul Label imprint. Ruffin's 1967 original version, from his album Jimmy Ruffin Sings Top Ten, reached the Pop Top 30, peaking at #29, and was a Top 20 R&B Hit as well, peaking at #14. It was also a hit in Britain, reaching #26 on the UK Singles Chart. The song has a social context: it depicts a man anticipating his release from prison on the morrow, when he'll return home on a train to "the girl that I left behind," promising himself that he will reward her steadfast love for him by "giv[ing] her all the love [he's] got." The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and produced by Whitfield.
First inductions took place over the weekend at Cleveland State, but Detroit, Chicago and other cities want to host the hall, too