Otis Williams

It was around this time in 1961 that a group of five young men formed a singing group called The Elgins. They were good, so good that Berry Gordy signed them to a contract at Motown. Trouble was, there was already a group called The Elgins, so Gordy asked them to find a new name.

That’s when they became The Temptations. Their leader and founder was baritone Otis Williams.

And over the next five decades, the temptations establish themselves as one of the most popular and most enduring soul music acts.

Otis Williams in upper right

In 1988, Williams wrote a book that was part memoir, part story of The Temptations. And that’s when I had the chance to meet him .

So here now, from 1988, Otis Williams.

Otis Williams is 80 now. He still performs occasionally with the Temptations.

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Martha Reeves
Gladys Knight

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Martha Reeves

Photo: Aug856

When you think of the best of Motown in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, one of the names that has to be near the top of the list it Martha and the

Behind lead singer Martha Reeves, they racked up a series of hit singles.

Finally, 30 years after their heyday, Martha Reeves wrote a memoir. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1994, Martha Reeves:

Martha Reeves celebrated her 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago. And she still tours and performs.

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Ronnie SpectorGladys Knight

La Toya Jackson

Photo: Greg Hernandez

She was born into what would become one of America’s most famous music families.

La Toya Jackson is the fifth, and middle, child in the Jackson family. Less well-known than the Jackson Five or little brother Michael, La Toya carved out her own place in pop culture, as a singer and songwriter.

But little by little America learned about the private side of the Jackson family, the side the fan magazines didn’t want to write about. It was a a story of domestic abuse.

I met La Toya in 1992, after her bestselling memoir “La Toya” was published.

So here now, from 1992, La Toya Jackson.

La Toya Jackson will be 65 later this month. Her last music release was an EP album in 2011.

Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight in 1974. Photo: CBS Television

Midnight Plane to Houston?

Doesn’t sound quite right, does it? And in her 1997 memoir, singer Gladys Knight told the story of how it became the Midnight Train to Georgia.

And in this interview you’re about to hear, she also tells about the connection that Danny Thomas has to another classic Gladys Knight and the Pips song.

So here now, from 1997, Gladys Knight:

Gladys Knight is now 76 years old.


Photo: Kingkongphoto

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Cissy Houston
Reba McEntire

Cissy Houston

In the music business, backup singers often fade into the background. Few achieve much fame on their own. One who did was Cissy Houston.

After a successful career backing up the likes of Elvis Preslet, Dionne Warick, and Aretha Franklin, Houston struck out on her own — and won two Grammies.

I met Cissy Houston in the spring of 1998, after she’d written her memoir.

So here now, from 1998i, Cissy Houston:

Cissy Houston is now 87 amd still performs. She leads the 200-member Youth Inspirational Choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.