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Same old Motown moves

The Temptations pack Maryland Theatre

The Temptations pack Maryland Theatre

December 04, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Their black patent leather shoes tapped and their red satin sleeves flapped as The Temptations clapped along with a packed audience Wednesday night at The Maryland Theatre.

With only one original band member, Otis Williams, the Motown group that recorded such hits as "My Girl," "Papa was a Rolling Stone" and "Ain't too Proud to Beg" had audience members on their feet clapping along to their feel-good music.

For Shirley Harrell, 54, of Martinsburg, W.Va., the chance to see one of her favorite childhood groups was an opportunity she couldn't pass up.

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"I'm getting older and they're getting older so it just brings back memories," she said.

The fact that only one original Temptation was on stage didn't bother her either.

"At least a part of them is there. The spirit is in the music," she said.

Al McKenzie, the group's music director, agreed. He said everybody has a favorite "Temp," but, he said, "The group is bigger than any one person."

For long-time fan Tammy Potter, 40, the smooth steps and moves of the famous crooners does it for her each time.

Her friend Diane Williams, 51, said the "Temps" dance style, although not sexy, has a style all its own.

"It's a step that cannot be copied," she said.

And most importantly, Potter said, "The sound has not changed."

During the concert, four members of the group twirled and fanned their hands in synchronized flairs on stage. They dipped low and spun fast. They sang low and shrilled high.

Temptations fan Bertha Brown, 45, of Hagerstown, said she hoped the concert would do something special.

"I hope they make me feel young again," she said.

Harrell said attending the concert did make her feel old, but she hoped it would bring back a youthfulness in her as well.

"We've lost a lot of innocence now," she said.

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