Monday, April 24, 2017

Eddie Kendricks – Keep On Truckin’ (Tamla)

Classics: Eddie Kendricks – Keep On Truckin’ (Tamla)
There’s no doubt as to how Eddie Kendricks was more into so to say classic Soul. More into a romantic ballad style as performed by The Temptations when under they were the direction of Smokey Robinson
He would nevertheless score his biggest success with the groovy ‘Keep On Truckin’ back in 1973. A cut ironically reminding of the sound of his former partners which he’d left because of the psychedelic approach producer Norman Whitfield gave to their compositions at the time.

Infectious is most likely the first adjective coming to mind when speaking of ‘Keep On Truckin”. Producers Frank Wilson and Leonard Calston coming up with a brilliant blend of Jazz, Funk and Soul vibes. A track most likely said by many to be the first Disco jam ever!

Divided in two parts on its 7 inch release… Better then to get yourself a copy of the album – ‘Eddie Kendricks’ – to enjoy its 8 minutes + version…

Overview
Born in Union Springs, AL, Eddie Kendricks started singing Doo-Wop along with Paul Willians. Together with two extra friends, Otis Williams and Melvin “Blue” Franklin, they formed The Temptations back in 1961. David Ruffin joining them soon after…

Although the first tenor in the group, Kendricks is mostly remembered for his incredible falsetto voice. An artistic disagreement with Norman Whitfield on his attempt to bring the group to a psychedelic style led him to leave the band in 1971. But also an absence of real communication with label head Berry Gordy. Not to mention the encouragements of Ruffin who’d done the same 3 years before…

Despite a few classics on his own, Kendricks never managed to really reach a notoriety level comparable to The Tempations. And when he eventually started being recognized under his own banner, he got diagnosed with a “pin drop” of cancer on one of his lungs in 1982. He would refuse to go under chimiotherapy at the time in order to not lose his hair.

Relocated in this native Alabama, Kendricks finally went for surgery by the end of 1991 to have one of his lungs removed in hopes from preventiving the spread of the cancer. He eventually got back to touring through the Summer of the following year though.

He sadly felt ill again, got hospitalized once more, and passed on Oct. 05, 1992, aged 52…

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