Also known as

Otis Williams and the Siberians, The Primes, The Distants, Otis Williams & the Distants, The Elgins, The Pirates


Detroit Michigan, USA


Rhythm & Blues, Soul 

Years active

1960 - present


Warwick, Gordy, Motown, Atlantic, New Door/Universal

Associated acts

The Supremes



Otis Williams, Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, Ron Tyson, Bruce Williamson

Former Members

Elbridge "Al" Bryant, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, David Ruffin, Dennis Edwards, Ricky owens, Damon Harris, Glenn Leonard, Louis Price, Ali-Ollie Woodson, Theo Peoples, Ray Davis, Harry McGilberry, Barrington "Bo" Henderson, Richard Street, G.C. Cameron



 Thanks to their fine-tuned choreography and even finer harmonies the Temptations became the definitive male vocal group of the 1960s; one of Motown's most elastic acts, they tackled both lush pop and politically charged funk with equal flair, and weathered a steady stream of changes in personnel and consumer tastes with rare dignity and grace. The Temptations' initial five-man lineup formed in Detroit in 1961 as a merger of two local vocal groups, The Primes and The Distants.

The Temptations' initial five-man lineup formed in Detroit in 1961 as a merger of two local vocal groups,The Primes and The Distants. Baritone Otis Williams, Elbridge "Al" Bryant, and bass vocalist Melvin Franklin were longtime veterans of the Detroit music scene when they joined together in The Distants, who in 1959 recorded the single "Come On" for the local Northern label. Around the same time, The Primes, a trio comprised of tenor Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams (no relation to Otis), and Kell Osborne, relocated to the Motor City from their native Alabama; they quickly found success locally, and their manager even put together a girl group counterpart dubbed The Primettes. (Later, three of The Primettes Diana Ross, mary Wilson and Florence Ballard formed The Supremes).

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