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Eddie Kendricks

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Bio

Known for both his years with the Temptations and his major solo hits of the 1970s, Eddie Kendricks was among the many soul legends who did his part to put Motown on the map. The expressive vocalist (who often sang in a falsetto), born Edward James Kendrick, grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, but it was Detroit's Motown label that made him a star. Kendricks was still living in Alabama in the late '50s when he formed the Primes with Kell Osborne and Temptation-to-be Paul Williams. After moving from Alabama to Detroit, the Primes caught the attention of a Motor City group known as the Distants, whose members included Temptations-to-be Otis Williams, Elbridge Bryant, and Melvin Franklin. The Primes broke up after being together only a few years, and the Temptations (originally known as the Elgins) were formed when, in 1961, members of the Primes and the Distants came together. With a lineup that included former Primes members Kendricks and Paul Williams, and former Distants members Otis Williams (who was unrelated to Paul), Melvin Franklin, and Elbridge Bryant, the Temptations signed with the little-known Motown subsidiary Miracle. The Temptations, who went through many personnel changes over the years, didn't become successful right away, but by the mid-'60s, they had become huge thanks to such smashes as the Kendricks-led "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "My Girl." The group enjoyed one mega-hit after another in the mid- to late '60s, including "The Girl's Alright with Me" and "Get Ready." Kendricks also did a little songwriting and created many of the group's vocal arrangements. By the time the Temptations scored their 11th number one R&B hit with "Just My Imagination," Kendricks had left to pursue a solo a career. Many fans questioned the wisdom of his leaving such a successful group, but he proved to be quite viable as a solo act thanks to early-'70s singles like "Keep on Truckin,'" a number one R&B hit, and "Boogie Down," which went to number two on the R&B chart. Other noteworthy solo hits followed, including "Shoeshine Boy," "Get the Cream Off the Top," "Happy" in 1975," and "He's a Friend" in 1976. Most of his solo albums came out on Motown, although Kendricks recorded for Arista and Atlantic during the late '70s and early '80s. By that time, however, his popularity had decreased considerably. The singer wasn't heard from much in the '80s, though in 1985, he did participate in the Artists United Against Apartheid's Sun City project and recorded Live at the Apollo with Daryl Hall, John Oates, and Temptation partner David Ruffin. Two years later, he and Ruffin released an album for RCA. Sadly, the '90s would see the premature deaths of no less than three former members of the Temptations. First, Ruffin died of a cocaine overdose in 1991, followed by the deaths of Kendricks in 1992, and Melvin Franklin (from a brain seizure) in 1995. (Tragedy was nothing new to Temptations members: Paul Williams had committed suicide back in 1973). Kendricks was only 52 when he died of lung cancer in his native Birmingham on October 5, 1992. ~ Alex Henderson
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Albums by
Eddie Kendricks

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Vintage '78

    10 songs

    On Air

    Love Keys

    10 songs

    On Air

    People...Hold On

    33 songs

    On Air

    Keep on Truckin': The Motown Solo Albums, Vol. 1

    55 songs

    On Air

    The Thin Man: The Motown Solo Albums, Vol. 2

    12 songs

    On Air

    20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of Eddie Kendricks

    16 songs

    On Air

    The Ultimate Collection

    20 songs

    On Air

    Live in Las Vegas 1991!

    15 songs

    On Air

    Vintage '78

    10 songs

    On Air

    He's a Friend

    10 songs

    On Air

    Boogie Down!

    8 songs

    On Air

    For You

    7 songs

    On Air

    Eddie Kendricks

    7 songs

    On Air

    All by Myself

    10 songs

    On Air

    At His Best


Top Songs by
Eddie Kendricks

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Keep on Truckin', Pt. 1
  3.   Boogie Down
  4.   He's a Friend
  5.   My People...Hold On
  6.   Tell Her Love Has Felt the Need
  7.   Girl You Need a Change of Mind
  8.   Goin' up in Smoke
  9.   Intimate Friends
  10.   Shoeshine Boy
  11.   Date with the Rain
  12.   Then Came You
  13.   Can I
  14.   Music Man
  15.   David Ruffin Intro
  16.   Skeleton in Your Closet
  17.   I've Got to Be
  18.   Eddie's Love
  19.   How's Your Life Baby
  20.   Something Shady (Is Going On)
  21.   I'll Be Your Servant
  22.   Diamond Girl
  23.   California Woman
  24.   Season's Greetings from Eddie Kendricks
  25.   A Song for You
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Eddie Kendricks

    On Air

    Legends Of Motown

    On Air

    55 Best Motown Songs

    On Air

    Little Deuce Coupe

    On Air

    Funk

    On Air

    Old-School BBQ

    On Air

    Classic Soul

    On Air

    '70s Hits

    On Air

    Prince: DNA

    On Air

    Oldies

    On Air

    Disco Deep Dive

    On Air

    My Parents' Record Collection

    On Air

    '70s Deep Dive

    On Air

    James Brown: DNA

    On Air

    Smooth Jams

    On Air

    Classic Hits


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