Eddie Kendricks is still one of my favourite singers, whether I am listening to him as a member of the original Temptations or as a solo artist.
Eddie Kendricks was born Edward James Kendrick, in Alabama. His first group was called The Primes, which he formed with Paul Williams and Kell Osborne. The group relocated from Birmingham, Alabama to the “Motor City,” Detroit. The Primes became very popular in Detroit and created a female version called the Primettes, who would later change their name to The Supremes.
The Primes would also change their name when they signed with the up and coming record label Motown/Tamla Records. The original Primes joined with a Detroit group called The Distants and changed the name of the union to The Temptations.
Like The Supremes, The Temptations were instrumental in Motown Records success.
It was at the peak of their success that Eddie decided to leave the group and pursue a solo career. People thought he was crazy to walk away from such success and those of us that lived and partied during that period know how popular the group was. I think at the time of his departure, The Temptations had something like 11 Number One hits.
Eddie proved he was right by recording and releasing several major hits as a solo artist. Some were released on the Motown label, others on Arista and Atlantic.
Here is Eddie Kendricks with “Date With The Rain.”