My Girl – The Temptations

Song Request From Lydia R:

The Temptations are an American vocal group that achieved fame as one of the most successful acts to record for Motown Records. The group’s repertoire has included, at various times during its five-decade career, R&B, doo-wop, funk, disco, soul, and adult contemporary music.

Formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1960 as The Elgins, the Temptations have always featured at least five male vocalists/dancers. The group, known for its recognizable choreography, distinct harmonies, and onstage suits, has been said to be as influential to soul as The Beatles are to pop and rock.

The original group included members of two local Detroit vocal groups: The Distants, which featured second tenor Otis Williams, first tenor Elbridge “Al” Bryant and bass Melvin Franklin; and first tenor/falsetto Eddie Kendricks and second tenor/baritone Paul Williams (no relation to Otis) from The Primes. Among the most notable future Temptations were lead singers David Ruffin and Dennis Edwards (both of whom became successful Motown solo artists after leaving the group), Richard Street (another former Distant), Damon Harris, Ron Tyson, Ali-Ollie Woodson, Theo Peoples, and G.C. Cameron. Like its sister female group, the Supremes, the Temptations’ lineup has changed frequently particularly in recent decades.

My Girl

The recorded version of “My Girl” was the first Temptations single to feature David Ruffin on lead vocals. Previously, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams had performed most of the group’s lead vocals, and Ruffin had joined the group as a replacement for former Temptation Elbridge “Al” Bryant. While on tour as part of the Motortown Revue, a collective tour for most of the Motown roster, Smokey Robinson caught the Temptations’ part of the show. The group had included a medley of soul standards in the show, one of which, The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk”, was a solo spot for Ruffin. Impressed, Robinson decided to produce a single with Ruffin singing lead. Robinson saw Ruffin as a “sleeping giant” in the group with a unique voice that was “mellow” yet “gruff”. Robinson thought that if he could write just the perfect song for Ruffin’s voice, then he could have a smash hit. The song was to be something that Ruffin could “belt out” yet something that was also “melodic and sweet”. After some persuasion from Ruffin’s bandmates, Robinson had the Temptations record “My Girl” instead of The Miracles, and recruited Ruffin to sing the lead vocals. The signature guitar riff heard during the introduction and under the verses was played by Robert White of the Funk Brothers.

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I got sunshine,
On a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside,
I’ve got the month of may.
I guess you’d say,
What can make me feel this way?

My girl, my girl, my girl.
Talkin’ ’bout my girl.
My girl!

I’ve got so much honey,
The bees envy me.
I’ve got a sweeter song,
Than the birds in the trees.
Well, I guess you’d say,
What can make me feel this way?

My girl, my girl, my girl.
Talkin’ ’bout my girl.
My girl!
Ooo-ooo, hoo-ooo.

I don’t need no money,
Fortune or fame.
I got all the riches baby,
One man can claim.
Well, I guess you’d say,
What can make me feel this way?

My girl, my girl, my girl.
Talkin’ ’bout my girl.
My girl!

I got sunshine on a cloudy day with my girl.
I’ve even got the month of may with my girl.

  • Audio from the 1965 album, The Temptations Sing Smokey:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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