Saturday, May 25, 2024

RIP Dennis Edwards of the Temptations, Had a Massive Solo Hit with “Don’t Look Any Further”


The great R&B singer Dennis Edwards has died at age 74, two days short of his 75th birthday. A deep baritone with glossy highs, Edwards was a leader of the Tempations circa 1969-70 and had a lot of hits with them including “Shakey Ground,” “Papa was a Rolling Stone,” “Cloud Nine,” “Ball of Confusion,” “Psychedelic Shack,” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.” Edwards replaced lead singer David Ruffin. His period guiding the Temps was a hugely important one.

Edwards left the Temptations and went out on his own with Motown in the mid 70s. He had a massive hit in 1984, “Don’t Look Any Further,” featuring Siedah Garrett, that is still played almost as much as his Temps hits.  Edwards was inducted with the Temps into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Almost two years ago, Dennis performed as a surprise for Aretha Franklin at her 74th birthday party in New York at the Ritz Carlton. He was one of  her favorite all time singers, and long time friend. Edwards leaves a daughter from a brief marriage to Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters.

RIP a great singer and a great hit

Dennis sang lead on the Temps seminal hit “Shakey Ground” (see him at 00:43)

He also led them into this gigantic number 1 “Papa was A Rolling Stone.” Fans were used to the the original sound of the Temps driven a lot by Smokey Robinson songs (separate from the Miracles). Edwards commanded this funk driven era from producer Norman Whitfield. The Temps are over all the best R&B group in history simply because they had such huge range over a long span.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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