A report on Runaway Child, Running Wild

1969 hit single for the Gordy (Motown) label, performed by The Temptations and produced by Norman Whitfield.

- Runaway Child, Running Wild

6 related topics with Alpha

Overall

The "Classic 5" lineup of the Temptations in 1967. Clockwise from top: David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams.

The Temptations

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American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s.

American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s.

The "Classic 5" lineup of the Temptations in 1967. Clockwise from top: David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams.
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 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 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.

More Temptations psychedelic soul singles followed in 1969 and 1970—among them "Runaway Child, Running Wild" (a number-one R&B hit), "I Can't Get Next to You" (a number-one pop hit), "Psychedelic Shack", and "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", but the formula began to wear thin when "Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite the World)", only went to number 33 Pop in the fall of 1970.

The Chambers Brothers in 1970

Psychedelic soul

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Music genre that emerged in the late 1960s and saw Black soul musicians embrace elements of psychedelic rock, including its production techniques, instrumentation, effects units (wah-wah pedal, phaser, etc.) and drug influences.

Music genre that emerged in the late 1960s and saw Black soul musicians embrace elements of psychedelic rock, including its production techniques, instrumentation, effects units (wah-wah pedal, phaser, etc.) and drug influences.

The Chambers Brothers in 1970

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).

Norman Whitfield's The Temptations

Norman Whitfield

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American songwriter and producer, who worked with Berry Gordy's Motown labels during the 1960s.

American songwriter and producer, who worked with Berry Gordy's Motown labels during the 1960s.

Norman Whitfield's The Temptations

1969: "Runaway Child, Running Wild" – The Temptations (US #6, US R&B #1)

Cloud Nine (The Temptations album)

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Ninth studio album by American musical group The Temptations for the Gordy label released in 1969.

Ninth studio album by American musical group The Temptations for the Gordy label released in 1969.

The album's second single, "Run Away Child, Running Wild", delved further into unusual territory for the Temptations, turning a story about a lost runaway into a nine-minute epic of doo-wop vocals, droning organ lines, and hard-hitting drums similar to those typically heard in Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown records.

Earl Van Dyke

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American soul musician, most notable as the main keyboardist for Motown Records' in-house Funk Brothers band during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

American soul musician, most notable as the main keyboardist for Motown Records' in-house Funk Brothers band during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Besides his work as the session keyboardist on Motown hits such as "Bernadette" by The Four Tops, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye and "Runaway Child, Running Wild" by The Temptations, Van Dyke performed with a small band as an opening act for several Motown artists, and released instrumental singles and albums himself.

Funk Brothers in early 1960s. Left to right: Benny Benjamin, James Jamerson, Joe Hunter, Larry Veeder, Hank Cosby, Mike Terry

The Funk Brothers

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The Funk Brothers were a group of Detroit-based session musicians who performed the backing to most Motown recordings from 1959 until the company moved to Los Angeles in 1972.

The Funk Brothers were a group of Detroit-based session musicians who performed the backing to most Motown recordings from 1959 until the company moved to Los Angeles in 1972.

Funk Brothers in early 1960s. Left to right: Benny Benjamin, James Jamerson, Joe Hunter, Larry Veeder, Hank Cosby, Mike Terry
The Funk Brothers as reincarnated in 2006. The lineup includes three of the original members: Bob Babbitt (2nd from left), Joe Hunter (4th from left), Uriel Jones (8th from left).

"Runaway Child, Running Wild" - The Temptations