‘We’d still like to get one more’: The Temptations’ ageless Otis Williams isn’t close to retiring

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Otis Williams, nicknamed “Big Daddy” for his imposing presence, stands as the only surviving original member of the Motown hitmaking juggernaut known as the Temptations. Who can forget his turns on “Don’t Send Me Away” and “I Ain’t Got Nothin”?

Over course, over a period of time dating back to their start in 1960, Williams has seen a number of famous Temps come and go — including Eddie Kendricks (1960–71, 1982), David Ruffins (1964–68, 1982), Dennis Edwards (1968–77, 1980–84, 1987–89) and Ali-Ollie Woodson (1984–87, 1989–97). In fact, Melvin Franklin and Williams were the only legacy members to have never quit up until Franklin passed in 1995.

Still, for all of those changes, Williams says he’s never considered retirement.

“My stock answer to that is: I’m going to ride the hair off the horse,” Williams jokingly tells WXBR 1460-AM. “When I get off the horse, the horse will be bald.”

In fact, Williams says the Temptations — who left Motown for good in 2004, and last issued an album in 2010 — would like to record again: “Despite all of the history and longevity of the Temps being around, and having all this success that we are known for, we’d still like to go in there and see if we can get one more,” Williams says.

It’s happened before: In 1984, long after their acknowledged hey day, the Temptations scored a No. 2 R&B smash with the Woodson-sung “Treat her Like a Lady.” Both 2006’s Reflections and 2007’s Back to Front were Top 20 R&B hit albums, as well.

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