The Temptations are a legendary American vocal group. Part of the star-packed roster of Motown Records in the 1960s and 1970s, they were known for their choreography, harmonies and coordinated wardrobe. Having sold tens of millions of albums, they’re one of the most successful groups in history, and their legacy is still deeply felt throughout R&B and soul music to this day.
Before they were famous, however, they were just a group of young singers hoping to make it. Their big break came in the late part of 1964, when Smokey Robinson caught part of their show and was inspired to write a song that could feature group member David Ruffin on lead vocals. Eventually, the band persuaded Robinson to let them record a song he’d written with Ronald White for his own group, The Miracles. That song was “My Girl.”
“My Girl” was written by Robinson for his wife, Claudette, and was meant to be a song that could be belted out but still be melodic and sweet. It became an instant classic, reaching the top of U.S. charts and becoming the first number-one hit for The Temptations. Today, it’s ranked 88 on Rolling Stone‘s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”