|June is Black Music Month and what better time to pay tribute to one of black
music's greatest tenors. For 8 years now the memory of Eddie Kendrick has
been honored by The Eddie Kendricks Memorial Foundation, based in Washington,
Kendrick's music career began with the trio The Primes. When they disbanded
in 1961, Kendrick and fellow Primes Bryant Franklin merged with Otis Williams
and The Distants to form the Temptations. Over the next decade they had a
steady series of top-10 hits including "The Way You Do the Things You Do,"
"My Girl," "Get Ready," and on and on.
After the success of the ballad "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
in 1971 Kendrick left to pursue a solo career. He had several pop hits
including "Boogie Down" and "Keep On Truckin'" but nothing that matched his
Temptations success. In 1982 he returned for a reunion; a tour followed but
problems with Motown as well as personal differences cut that tenure short.
In the late 80s Kendrick and Temptations' alumni Dennis Edwards and David
Ruffin toured in the show "Tribute to the Temptations."
Kendrick died on Oct. 5, 1992 at age 52 from lung cancer, caused by 30 years
of smoking. Soon after, the Eddie Kendrick Memorial Foundation was born to
celebrate the life and talent of Kendricks and to educate young people about
the harmful effects of smoking.
On Monday, June 11, 2001, The Foundation, in association with The Black
Studies Division of the D.C. Public Library will present the 8th Annual
Musical Tribute to Eddie Kendricks at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library
(901 G Street, NW Washington, DC), from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. There will be
free CD give aways and musical performances. Admission is free. For more
information call 202-723-STAR.