Airdate – Oct 23, 2022
During the sixties, Motown produced many famous groups including the Miracles, the Supremes, and the Temptations.
And during that time, there was another prominent Motown group that achieved national and international success. Even though they were popular and had a number of hits, they had some great songs that are rarely heard today …
The make-up of our featured group was in sharp contrast to that of the Temptations who had numerous personnel changes over the years.
Our featured group had four original members who stayed together for four decades.
Founded as the Four Aims in 1953 the four high school students from Detroit signed with Chess Records in 1956 and changed their name so as not to be confused with the Ames Brothers.
Over the next seven years, the group recorded for Chess, Red Top, Riverside, and Columbia Records without much success.
In 1963 Berry Gordy Jr. convinced them to join the Motown roster.
They debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964 with “Baby I Need Your Loving,” which went to the 11th position on the charts.
Less than a year later the group had its 4th release make it to the top of the charts with “I Can’t Help Myself.”
Yes, our feature group was non-other than the Four Tops, who had the late Levi Stubbs, a baritone, as their lead singer. It is worth noting that back then most male and mixed vocal groups of the time were fronted by a tenor.
One of the Four Tops’ recordings that is rarely heard today was their 3rd release from February 1965 that went to the 24th position on the charts.
A beautiful ballad, one could argue that its title is a reflection of the Four Tops’ pre-Motown career – just “Ask The Lonely,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.