Melvin Franklin, the foundation of the Temptations' awe-inspiring harmonies, was born October 12, 1942 in Birmingham, Alabama to Rose Franklin English and David English. During his teens, he, along with his widowed mother, moved to Detroit, which was a hotbed of doo-wop and gospel music such as the Flamingos, Diablos, and The Dixie Hummingbirds. Like most young male sin the cities at the time, Melvin aspired to sing, and his voice, as most of Detroit was finding out, was not the average teenager's voice. In 1958 Franklin made his foray into the show business by joining the Voice
Masters in 1958. The Voice Masters recorded a few sides for future Motown founder, Berry Gordy. A year later, Franklin left the group and joined the Siberians, lead by his friend and future fellow Temptation, Otis Williams.
Franklin suffered many chronic illnesses en route to becoming the greatest bass singer of all time, but he overcame them well enough to share his great talent with the world. Then, in 1960, the Siberians (now the Distants) hooked up with the Primes (Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams) and the rest is Temptation history. In the pre-David Ruffin era, Melvin sang leads on a classic, Paradise. Once established as hitmakers, Melvin wowed audiences with his rendition of 'Ol Man River'.
Franklin was known as a man of great generosity and of course, known for his devastatingly deep voice, and sincere smile. His favorite color was blue
(hence the nickname) and he was cousin to fellow Temptation, DavidRuffin. He went through ups and downs with Otis Williams as the Temptations changed
members frequently, and died in 1995 of heart failure and other disorders. He lives on in his great music.
Melvin Franklin Message Board
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