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 Melvin Franklin

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Melvin Franklin

R/B singer, born David English in Montgomery, Alabama, his stage name Franklin came from his mother's surname, Franklin. Nicknamed "blue" by friends and fellow singers because he liked everything blue. He was a member of many local singing groups in Detroit, including The Voice Masters. He attended Northwestern High, where he met Otis Williams, and this would be the beginning of a relationship between Otis and Melvin that would last for over thirty years. Melvin joined The Distants as the groups rumbling bass, due to a previous contract agreement, The Distants name changed to The Elgins. In 1961, the Elgins auditioned for Berry Gordy and was signed with Motown with a new name, The Temptations. Melvin sang lead with the group on songs like "I Truly, Truly Believe", "The Prophet", and his best known live performance, "Ol' Man River". The Temptations 1970 #3 hit "Ball of Confusion" (That's What the World is Today) and the band played on, became Melvin's trademark. In the late 1960s, he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis; and in the early 1980s he developed diabetes. In 1993, Melvin became ill, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, he wouldn't perform again until after July of 1994. On February 17, 1995, after a series of seizures, Melvin lapsed into a coma and remained unconscious until his death. Otis and Franklin were the only two Temptations never to quit the group.

Bio by: Babe


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 11 Feb 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4526
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Melvin Franklin (12 Oct 1942–23 Feb 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4526, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .