Norman Whitfield's The Temptations
The Chambers Brothers in 1970
The "Classic 5" lineup of the Temptations in 1967. Clockwise from top: David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams.
Sly and the Family Stone in 1968. Left to right: Freddie Stone, Sly Stone, Rose Stone, Larry Graham, Cynthia Robinson, Jerry Martini, and Greg Errico.
A promotional image of the original early 1960s Temptations lineup. Clockwise from top right: Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, and Elbridge "Al" Bryant.
The Woodstock Music and Art Festival, at which Sly and the Family Stone performed on August 17, 1969.
The Temptations perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1969. Left to right: Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, and Dennis Edwards.
The band's 1975 performance at Radio City Music Hall (shown 2003) was only one-eighth filled
The Temptations on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall, November 2005. Pictured L-R: Joe Herndon, Otis Williams, G.C. Cameron, Terry Weeks, and Ron Tyson.
Sly Stone performing with the Family Stone in 2007.

He has been credited as one of the creators of the Motown Sound and of the late-1960s subgenre of psychedelic soul.

- Norman Whitfield

The group's work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music.

- The Temptations

Pioneering acts working in the genre included Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Isaac Hayes, and the Temptations.

- Psychedelic soul

Whitfield worked extensively with The Temptations as a producer and songwriter, producing eight of their albums between 1969 and 1973.

- Norman Whitfield

Formed in 1966, the group's music synthesized a variety of disparate musical genres to help pioneer the emerging "psychedelic soul" sound.

- Sly and the Family Stone

Also important were the Temptations and their producer Norman Whitfield, who moved from a relatively light vocal group into more hard-edged and topical material like "Cloud Nine" (1968), "Runaway Child, Running Wild" (1969), and "Psychedelic Shack" (1969).

- Psychedelic soul

After Temptations lead singer David Ruffin was replaced by Dennis Edwards in 1968, Whitfield moved the group into a harder, darker sound that featured a blend of psychedelic rock and funk heavily inspired by the work of Sly & the Family Stone and Funkadelic.

- Norman Whitfield

The addition of Dennis Edwards to the Temptations coincided with the adoption of a new sound for the group by producer Norman Whitfield, and in the fall of 1968, Whitfield began producing psychedelic-based material for the Temptations, derived primarily from the sound of funk bands Sly & the Family Stone and Funkadelic.

- The Temptations

Some musicians changed their sound completely to co-opt that of Sly and the Family Stone, most notably Motown in-house producer Norman Whitfield, who took his main act The Temptations into "psychedelic soul" territory starting with the Grammy-winning "Cloud Nine" in 1968.

- Sly and the Family Stone
Norman Whitfield's The Temptations

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James Brown, a pioneer of funk, in 1973


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Music genre that originated in African American communities in the mid-1960s when musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul, jazz and rhythm and blues .

Music genre that originated in African American communities in the mid-1960s when musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul, jazz and rhythm and blues .

James Brown, a pioneer of funk, in 1973
The rhythm section of a funk band—the electric bass, drums, electric guitar and keyboards--is the heartbeat of the funk sound. Pictured here is the Meters.
Simple kick and snare funk motif. The kick first sounds two onbeats, which are then answered by two offbeats. The snare sounds the backbeat.
A thirteenth chord (E 13, which also contains a flat 7th and a 9th)
Bootsy Collins performing in 1996 with a star-shaped bass
The drum groove from "Cissy Strut"
Guitarist Nile Rodgers is best known for his performances with Chic.
Isaac Hayes playing keyboards in 1973
Singer Charlie Wilson
Funk horn sections typically include saxophones and trumpets. Larger horn sections often add a second instrument for one of the saxes or trumpets, and a trombone or bari sax may also be used. Pictured is the Earth, Wind and Fire horn section.
James Brown, a progenitor of funk music
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in 2006
The Original Family Stone live, 2006. Jerry Martini, Rose Stone, and Cynthia Robinson
Prince was an influential multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, singer and songwriter.
Me'shell Ndegeocello playing electric bass
Talking Heads combined funk with elements of art rock.
Dr. Dre (pictured in 2011) was one of the influential creators of G-funk.
Chaka Khan (born 1953) has been called the "Queen of Funk".
Janelle Monáe (born 1985) is part of a new wave of female funk artists.

Funk originated in the mid-1960s, with James Brown's development of a signature groove that emphasized the downbeat—with heavy emphasis on the first beat of every measure ("The One"), and the application of swung 16th notes and syncopation on all basslines, drum patterns, and guitar riffs —and rock and psychedelia-influenced musicians Sly and the Family Stone and Jimi Hendrix, fostering improvisation in funk.

In contrast to earlier bands such as The Temptations, which wore "matching suits" and "neat haircuts" to appeal to white mainstream audiences, funk bands adopted an "African spirit" in their outfits and style.

The Temptations, who had previously helped to define the "Motown Sound" – a distinct blend of pop-soul – adopted this new psychedelic sound towards the end of the 1960s as well.

Their producer, Norman Whitfield, became an innovator in the field of psychedelic soul, creating hits with a newer, funkier sound for many Motown acts, including "War" by Edwin Starr, "Smiling Faces Sometimes" by the Undisputed Truth and "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" by the Temptations.