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The Temptations - Ol' Man River

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Published on May 25, 2008

A Tribute to David English aka Melvin Franklin, former bass of The Temptations.

Motown founder Berry Gordy had said:"You could travel all over the world, stop at any door and ask about Melvin Franklin. You couldn't find anyone to say anything bad about him. He was the type of person that when he walked into a room, if it was dark, it would light up, and if it was lit up, it would become brighter."
Melvin is probably the most fondly remembered of the temps. Kind, generous, big hearted are a few of the words used to describe him. Whilst other former members have had aspects of their lives criticised i.e. drink, drugs, egotism, underhand deals, yet no one from motown has a bad word to say about Melvin. He won the annual motown spirit award many times because people felt his whole attitude encapsulated what it was all about. He never stopped smiling when performing, he was the model profesional singer, clean cut, all rounded athlete and deeply religious. I chose this song as firstly it's a rare lead for Melvin. and secondly it makes my hair stand on end when he first starts to sing. His trademark voice, that powerful yet gentle rumble, has lead him to be called the greatest bass singer of all time. When he sadly passed away best and oldest friend Otis Williams said that Franklin "will be in my heart as long as I live. He will always be my partner, and in his name, the Temptations will continue on." Listen to this Alabamian weave his magic through the track, and I'll leave you with a quote I got from The Emperors of Soul box set (highly highly reccomended btw):
"It seems to me when they say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the Temptations,' I transcend the me that I am now, I become something greater."
Melvin Franklin 1942 - 1995 a proud Temptation.

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