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Today 09:58 PM

The Temptations Celebrate 60th Anniversary With New Smokey Robinson-Penned Song

The year-long 60th anniversary celebrations of the Temptations continues with the release of their new single “Is It Gonna Be Yes Or No.” The romantic, swaying track features a momentous reunion with one of their oldest friends and fellow travelers in the epic Motown story, Smokey Robinson, who wrote and produced it.
Richly harmonized in time-honored Temptations style, “Is It Gonna Be Yes Or No” opens with the familiar, warm baritone of sole surviving original member Otis “Big Daddy” Williams, before the appearance of the similarly unmistakable Robinson. The unbreakable bond between the two giant acts of Motown lore go back to the Temptations’ first hits, and indeed even earlier, as the co-writer and producer of their 1963 single “I Want A Love I Can See.”

Read more and hear "Is It Gonna Be Yes Or Now" here:
Temptations Reunite With Smokey Robinson On 'Is It Gonna Be Yes Or No' [udiscovermusic.com].
Today 11:01 AM
09-25-2021 12:00 PM

When do you think rhythm and blues/soul went downhill?

I'm going with the 1980s, I felt that was the beginning of the end of good soul music.

What about you guys?
Yesterday 04:02 PM

The Marvelettes "Paper Boy" "Please Mr. Postman" clone?



On another thread, the subject of Motown B-sides came up. I was thinking about this one by the Marvelettes, "Paper Boy." I recall being kinda ticked that Motown would stick such an older song on the B-side of "You're The One." I was looking for something much more "MOTOWN!" [[chuckle). It's not a bad song, but I had the feeling that this was something that back in 1963, somebody thought would be a tie-in hit going back the the "Postman" theme and feeling. Had anyone else recorded this, I probably wouldn't have liked it at all, but as usual, the Marvelettes were able to transcend even the dullest and poorly-conceived material.

This more or less illustrates the issue Motown was having in trying to capitalize on The Marvelettes first major hit [[Please Mr. Postman) and trying distill what made that one work into their later follow-ups. It's pretty much the same issue the company had with Little Stevie Wonder. Once "Fingertips" hit, they had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to build on that to keep the momentum going. I think Brenda Holloway too was saddled with having to remain in her "box" as a singer of slower, emotional ballads after having a hit right out of the gate with "Every Little Bit Hurts".

"Paper Boy" was recorded in 1963, quite a few years beyond "Postman." Yet the implications are all there that this was some kind of attempt to recapture the glory of that first image-making hit. If that was the case, this would seem to be hitting rock bottom. Especially when you consider Motown ended up going with "My Daddy Knows Best" and "As Long As I Know He's Mine." Not the worst of songs, but definitely and very much tunes contrived to keep the group in their teeny-bopper stage. Still, you gotta hand it to the group that their fan base and Motown's creativity was strong enough that even their lower-charting singles kept them on the charts long enough to weather the drought of hits until "Don't Mess With Bill."

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Ralph Terrana
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