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This day in history: December 17, 1939

The classic line-up of the Tempations in the 1960s consisted of (from left) David Ruffin, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Alabamian Eddie Kendricks.

Singer Eddie Kendricks, the first lead tenor for the Temptations, was born in Union Springs. Formed in Detroit, Michigan, under Motown Records, the group’s original lineup featured three Alabama natives—Kendricks, Paul Williams, and Melvin Franklin—and became one of the most successful musical acts in history. Throughout their career, the group released fourteen Billboard R&B number-one singles, such as classics “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” and “My Girl,” and won three Grammy Awards. Kendricks also released two number-one R&B singles as a solo artist—“Boogie Down” and “Keep On Truckin’.” Kendricks and the Temptations were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

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