Dennis Edwards

Dennis Edwards
Dennis Edwards
Born February 3, 1943 (1943-02-03) (age 68)
Origin Birmingham, Alabama U.S.
Genres R&B, pop, soul, disco
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals, Piano
Years active 1966–present
Labels Motown, International Soulville
Associated acts The Temptations, Dennis Edwards & The Temptations Review, The Contours
Website The Temptations Review on MySpace

Dennis Edwards (born February 3, 1943) is a soul and R&B singer, most noted for being one of Motown act The Temptations' lead singers replacing David Ruffin. He is the father of Issa Pointer, whose mother is Ruth Pointer of The Pointer Sisters.[1]

Contents

Career

Born in Birmingham, Alabama[2] to Reverend and Mrs. Dennis Edwards Sr., he began singing as a toddler, just two years old, in his fathers' church. His family moved to Detroit when he was seven.[2] As a high school student, Edwards sang with the Mighty Clouds of Joy gospel group, then in 1961 he organized his own soul/jazz group, Dennis Edwards and the Fireballs.[2] Before joining The Contours in 1967,[3] Edwards recorded a single for the obscure Detroit label, International Soulville Records. The single was a track called I Didn't Have to (But I Did) with Johnnie on the Spot.[2] The record is very rare and sought after by Northern soul fans.[citation needed]

The Temptations Years

Edwards was the first new Temptation to enter the group after their "classic five" heyday, when he replaced David Ruffin as lead singer in July 1968. Ruffin was allegedly fired for what some of his bandmates felt was unprofessional behavior. Edwards had been a friend of the group beforehand and in particular had been a friend of Ruffin's. The Temptations officially introduced Edwards on July 9, 1968 on stage in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. With his rougher gospel-hewn vocals, Edwards led the group through its psychedelic, funk, and disco periods; two of the Temptations songs he appears on, Cloud Nine (1968) and Papa Was a Rollin' Stone (1972), won Grammy Awards.[2] Edwards remained in the Temptations until being fired by Otis Williams in 1977 just before the group's departure from Motown to Atlantic Records. After a failed attempt at a Motown solo career, Edwards rejoined the Temptations in 1980, when they returned to Motown.[2] In 1982, Edwards got the chance to sing with Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks as part of Reunion (The Temptations album) and tour. Edwards began missing shows and rehearsals, and was replaced in 1984 by Ali-Ollie Woodson.

Solo Artist

Motown re-launched Edwards' solo career, in 1984 with the hit single "Don't Look Any Further," a duet with Siedah Garrett.[2] The album of the same name reached No. 2 on the R&B charts and included the radio singles "(You're My) Aphrodisiac" and "Just Like You."[4] The 1985 follow-up album Coolin' Out included the title track, an R&B Top 30 hit; and "Try A Little Tenderness."[5] When problems arose between Woodson and the Temptations in 1987, Edwards was brought back once again, but was himself replaced by Woodson in 1989 after being fired a third and final time by Williams.

Ruffin, Kendricks, and Edwards

Edwards toured and recorded with fellow ex-Temptations Ruffin and Kendricks during the late 1980s as 'Ruffin/Kendricks/Edwards, former leads of The Temptations', although nothing was released.[2] The 1998 "Street Gold" DVD "Original Leads Of The Temptations" documents this historic period.[6] After the deaths of both Ruffin (1991) and Kendricks (1992), Edwards was forced to wrap up the project alone. In 1990 Dennis teamed up with Eddie Kendricks to release a dance/club track for A&B records entitled "Get it While it's Hot". The track was recorded at Fredrick Knight's recording studio in the duo's old home town of Birmingham, Alabama and produced and engineered by house music pioneer Alan Steward. The track created a lot of controversy as it contained a short rap sequence which did not sit very well with die hard Temptations fans. Edwards' Don't Look Any Further the Remix Album was released in 1998 containing updated dance mixes and the original 1984 track.

The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards

During the 1990s, Edwards began touring under the name 'Dennis Edwards & the Temptations', prompting a legal battle between himself and Otis Williams. It was decided that Edwards' group would be called 'The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards', the name that Edwards tours under to this day. Edwards' current group includes original Temptation Paul Williams son Paul Williams Jr., David Sea, Mike Patillo, and Chris Arnold.

Edwards was portrayed by Charles Ley in the 1998 biographical television mini-series The Temptations, though he was not heavily focused upon, as the mini-series gave more attention to the Ruffin/Kendricks-era Temptations line up.[citation needed]

References

Dennis Edwards 2010 Audio Interview on Soulinterviews.com


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