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Reunions
Birmingham Partners With Temptations For Reunion Promotions
Reunions and summer travel in Birmingham are always tempting. Now the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau has teamed with the Motown sounds of The Temptations to promote reunions and tra vel to a nationwide audience. The legendary musical group’s just-released CD entitled “Still Here” includes a song called “Going Back Home.”

Former lead singer, the late Eddie Kendricks, and current lead singer, Terry Weeks, both are natives of Birmingham. Knowing this strong tie to the city, The Temptations’ promotion department contacted the Convention & Visitors Bureau about a joint promotion venture. As it happened, the CVB was casting around at the time for a fresh approach to promoting the city’s profitable reunions business. “This promotion concept happened to come along ju st at the right time for us,” said CVB President James H. Smither. “The lyrics of the song fit our needs very well, and we like having a famous Birmingham son as our spokesman.”

The 60-second radio spots feature voiceover by The Temptations’ Terry Weeks. Weeks sings the praises of Birmingham attractions, dining and entertainment for reunion groups. Two of the six spots are geared toward individual travelers. The commercials are currently airing in rotation on the Ron Marshall Gospel Show, a Birmingham-based weekly program that is nationally syndicated in 44 markets. Birmingham ad agency Big Communications handled production of the radio spots. Another Birmingham connection to The Temptations is the Eddie Kendrick Memorial Park in the heart of downtown. (Kendrick added an “s” to his last name after joining The Temptations.) Kendrick traveled the world with the original members of the group but never forgot his Birmingham roots. Sculpted by Birmingham artist Ronald McDowell, the Kendrick statue captures the smooth steps and flawless moves of the singers. Inlaid in bronze relief behind Kendrick, images of the other original Temptations energize the work with their fine-tuned choreography.

The original Temptations lineup was Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks andDavid Ruffin. The group had an avalanche of hits including “My Girl,” “Since I Lost My Baby,” “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” and“The Way You Do the Things You Do.” Weeks joined the group as a permanent member in 1997.  Two sample radio spots are posted on the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Web site at www.birmingham.travel.
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