Category: papa was a rollin’ stone

On this day in music history: December 2, 1972 – “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” by The Temptations hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written and produced by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the fourth and final number one pop single for the veteran Motown vocal group. The song is originally recorded by The Undisputed Truth (“Smiling Faces Sometimes”) in 1971 with their version peaking at #24 on the R&B singles chart and #63 on the Hot 100. When The Temptations hear the track for the first time, initially they are unhappy with the songs’ extended intro (the first vocal doesn’t begin until nearly four minutes into the LP version and nearly two minutes into the single version). The opening lyric (“It Was the third of September, that day I’ll always remember, yes I will. ‘Cause that was the day, that my daddy died.”) is particularly upsetting to lead singer Dennis Edwards. Though Edwards father died on the third of October (not the third of September as was the often repeated legend), it still hits a little too close to home. Ever the hard driving perfectionist in the studio, Whitfield has the group recut their vocals numerous times much to their annoyance, though it results in the performance captured on the finished record. The twelve minute long album track is edited down to just under seven minutes for single release. In spite of its length, the record is an across the board smash. “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” wins three Grammy Awards including Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group, Best R&B Instrumental Performance, and Best R&B Song in 1973. “Papa” is covered numerous times over the years including a version by musician Bill Wolfer in 1982 that features Michael Jackson on background vocals. George Michael also perform the song as part of a medley with Adamski and Seal’s song “Killer” in 1992 at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and released on the EP “Five Live”. “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: July 27, 1972 – “All Directions”, the twelfth studio album by The Temptations is released. Produced by Norman Whitfield, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit, MI and Hitsville USA West in Hollywood, CA from Early – Mid 1972. The group are initially resistant to recording the tracks “Run Charlie Run” (about the mass exodus of white families from major urban centers to the suburbs) and “Papa Was Rolling Stone”, feeling their sensitive subject matter and lyrics will turn some fans off. Lead singer Dennis Edwards especially object to the latter when the songs lyrics hit a little too close to home. However, the group relent and record the songs. “Papa Was Rolling Stone” hits number one on the Billboard Hot 100 (#2 R&B), winning three Grammy Awards including The Temptations second award for Best R&B Group Vocal Performance in 1973. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Speaker’s Corner Records in 2008. It is also remastered and reissued as an SHM-CD by Universal Japan in 2012, and as an HDCD encoded CD (packaged in a mini LP replica sleeve) by Universal/UMe France in 2014. “All Directions” spends one week at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and peaks at number two on the Top 200.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: December 2, 1972 – “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” by The Temptations hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written and produced by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the fourth and final number one pop single for the veteran Motown vocal group. The song is originally recorded by The Undisputed Truth (“Smiling Faces Sometimes”) in 1971 with their version peaking at #24 on the R&B singles chart and #63 on the Hot 100. When The Temptations hear the track for the first time, initially they are unhappy with the songs’ extended intro (the first vocal doesn’t begin until nearly four minutes into the LP version and nearly two minutes into the single version). The opening lyric (“It Was the third of September, that day I’ll always remember, yes I will. ‘Cause that was the day, that my daddy died.”) is particularly upsetting to lead singer Dennis Edwards. Though Edwards father died on the third of October (not the third of September as was the often repeated legend), it still hits a little too close to home. Ever the hard driving perfectionist in the studio, Whitfield has the group recut their vocals numerous times much to their annoyance, though it results in the performance captured on the finished record. The twelve minute long album track is edited down to just under seven minutes for single release. In spite of its length, the record is an across the board smash. “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” wins three Grammy Awards including Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group, Best R&B Instrumental Performance, and Best R&B Song in 1973. “Papa” is covered numerous times over the years including a version by musician Bill Wolfer in 1982 that features Michael Jackson on background vocals. George Michael also perform the song as part of a medley with Adamski and Seal’s song “Killer” in 1992 at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and released on the EP “Five Live”. “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: December 2, 1972 – “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” by The Temptations hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written and produced by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it is the fourth and final number one pop single for the veteran Motown vocal group. The song is originally recorded by The Undisputed Truth (“Smiling Faces Sometimes”) in 1971 with their version peaking at #24 on the R&B singles chart and #63 on the Hot 100. When The Temptations hear the track for the first time, initially they are unhappy with the songs’ extended intro (the first vocal doesn’t begin until nearly four minutes into the LP version and nearly two minutes into the single version). The opening lyric (“It Was the third of September, that day I’ll always remember, yes I will. ‘Cause that was the day, that my daddy died.”) is particularly upsetting to lead singer Dennis Edwards. Though Edwards father died on the third of October (not the third of September as was the often repeated legend), it still hits a little too close to home. Ever the hard driving perfectionist in the studio, Whitfield has the group recut their vocals numerous times much to their annoyance, though it results in the performance captured on the finished record. The twelve minute long album track is edited down to just under seven minutes for single release. In spite of its length, the record is an across the board smash. “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” wins three Grammy Awards including Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group, Best R&B Instrumental Performance, and Best R&B Song in 1973. “Papa” is covered numerous times over the years including a version by musician Bill Wolfer in 1982 that features Michael Jackson on background vocals. George Michael also perform the song as part of a medley with Adamski and Seal’s song “Killer” in 1992 at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and released on the EP “Five Live”. “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.