Legendary Michigan Songs

74.) Ain’t Too Proud To Beg - The Temptations

Artist Name: The Temptations
Year Inducted: 2013

“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”  (N. Whitfield, E. Holland) – The Temptations;  Gordy label,  #1 Billboard R&B, # 13 Billboard Hot 100 – 1966.  Inducted in 2013.

“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” marked the beginning of the Norman Whitfield era in the recording career of the Temptations. Whitfield got his big opportunity when Smokey Robinson’s “Get Ready” failed to make the Top 20 for the group in early 1966 after writing and producing four big hits for them in 1965. Classic 5 Temptations circa 1965.jpgClassic 5 Temptations circa 1965.jpg

Whitfield had composed a great instrumental track for the single and then recruited Eddie Holland to write lyrics for the song. David Ruffin’s terrific lead vocal was partly the result of Whitfield’s arrangement which was placed slightly above his actual vocal range. Ruffin’s straining to hit the high notes of “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” put an element of pain and desperation in his delivery that perfectly matched Holland’s lyrics.

Whitfield’s success with “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” began an association with the Temptations that would last through 1974. During that time the group charted 32 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100, including three # 1 hits.

The Rolling Stones covered three Temptations’ songs on albums, but only “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” was released as a single. The Stones’ version of the song also became a Top 20 hit, reaching # 17 on the Hot 100 in 1974.

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s0TkufXA38