Carrying The Soul Torch: Otis Williams On The Temptations’ Mighty Legacy

Otis Williams, the sole surviving original member of the Temptations, is not just excited to be representing the legendary soul group’s legacy. He’s also motivated by the chance to bring it to yet another generation, with the group’s new album All The Time and a touring schedule that’s as busy as ever.

Williams has been talking to uDiscover about his unique role in the group, and about their return to recording with the new record, as well as the musical of their epic story, their new place in the Library of Congress and more. A spry 76 — “I try and take care of myself,” he says quietly — the man they call “Big Daddy” is as pivotal to the Temptations as ever, and delighted at the fresh impetus afforded by their first album for eight years.

“We hope everybody likes it so we can make everybody happy,” he says simply of All The Time, which features covers of hits by Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd and others, as well as three new tracks. “Some of it is original,” he says. “We just go and try to record whatever songs we do to the best of our ability. That’s pretty much the same after all these years.

“I must say [that now] it’s a different approach for us as the Temps, because the way records are marketed and promoted now is vastly different from the way it was back then. We would do a record and Motown would release it to the R&B stations, then it would go pop. Now, they use social media to really start cranking it up. It’s a learning process [for us], but we always try to couple ourselves with great songs, great lyrical content and things that will stand the test of time.”

To anyone surprised to hear the group covering Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ or Smith’s ‘Stay With Me,’ Williams points out that the group have a long history of covers drawn from the popular mainstream. He cites The Temptations In A Mellow Mood, the original group’s 1967 album of pop standards, and 1995’s For Lovers Only, which followed a similar theme and “could have been a huge album.”

Courtesy of Udiscovermusic
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