Song: “My Girl” by the Temptations
Reached #1: March 6, 1965 (their first, 1 week)
This was the song that started David Ruffin’s tempestuous four-year run as the lead singer of the Temptations. He took the lead at Smokey Robinson’s suggestion, as Robinson wrote “My Girl” for Ruffin to sing after hearing him sing “Under The Boardwalk” at a Motown Revue show.
Before Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams had taken their turns on lead vocals, with the results frustrating Motown executives who were eager for the Temptations to cross over to the top of the pop charts. Smokey Robinson’s love song for his wife did the trick.
“My Girl” would be the first of four pop and fourteen R&B #1 hits for the Temptations – while for Ruffin, it would be his only pop #1 at the lead. Ruffin developed a massive ego once he was promoted to the lead spot, which cost him the gig after just four years.
Fast-forward to today… and there are multiple Temptations offshoots and splinters touring – but the legal rights to the name belong to 50-plus-year veteran (and last original Temptation) Otis Williams, who’s still touring after all these years.
“My Girl” also led to one of the more famous response songs ever – Mary Wells’ “My Guy”, also written by Smokey Robinson. Since they’re generally linked anyway, here’s a bonus… a live version from the ‘60s series “Shindig”…
Tomorrow’s one of those days without a #1, so I’m going to feature another of today’s #1 hits instead…
Other songs that reached #1 on March 6:
1976 – “Love Machine (Part 1)” by the Miracles (their first without Smokey Robinson, 1 week)
1993 – “A Whole New World” by Peabo Bryson & Regina Bell (their first, 1 week)
2010 – “Imma Be” by the Black Eyed Peas (their third, 2 weeks)