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The Temptations

"Heading In A New Direction"

Norman continued to serve up hits like "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep," "(I Know) I'm Losing You," "You're My Everything," and "I Wish It Would Rain." Each song was different, and stronger, and Norman succeeded in snatching the group away from Smokey.

Things were moving fast, and before long Motown was moving beyond the record business into show business. Berry and new staff manager Shelly Berger had a visions of a crossover. The group would team up with The Supremes(who had a larger white audience) for several concerts and joint television appearances like the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966. Throughout the sixties and early seventies The Temptations would appear on countless variety television shows, such as The Hollywood Palace, Hullabaloo, and Shindig, just to name a few.

Unlike most other groups, in the Temptations everybody was a lead singer - but not like David Ruffin. He was electrifying and you knew it the minute he walked into a room. The Temptations' essential quality was the unity of the group, and David was pulling into the spotlight, and asking for star treatment. With ninety percent of the leads going to David or Eddie, Paul Williams was being pushed to the background, and before long started drinking. At what should have been the height of their success, things were beginning to crumble.

By the Spring of 1968, the situation had gone from bad to worse. The handwriting was on the wall, David Ruffin had to go, and Dennis Edwards was invited to join the group. The public got it's first look at the new singer in July of 1968 at the Forum in Los Angeles. Although David was officially out, he still wasn't gone. He jumped on stage several times during performances and the group hired extra security to keep him away. Outside the group, Eddie and David began picking up an alliance, one that would eventually put further strain on the situation between group members. Paul's health continued sliding and he was drinking alcohol on a daily basis.

Adding to the pressures of success were some apparent changes going on within the Motown organization. Some felt Motown was becoming a less pleasant place to work and other acts felt their contracts were considerably below industry standards. There was talk of a strike, but the group decided it would be in their best interest to continue recording.