DC Introduces Voices of Classic Soul Supergroup of Platters, Drifters, Temptations, Four Tops

DC Introduces Voices of Classic Soul Supergroup of Platters, Drifters, Temptations, Four Tops
DC Introduces Voices of Classic Soul Supergroup of Platters, Drifters, Temptations, Four Tops

A classic soul supergroup made up of members of the Platters, Drifters, Temptations and Four Tops will serenade DC this weekend.

Listen to our full conversation on my “Beyond Fame” podcast.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews Voices of Classic Soul (Part 1)

They fronted four of the greatest musical groups of all time before forming a supergroup.

This weekend, DC welcomes Voices of Classic Soul with Joe Coleman (The Platters), Joe Blunt (The Drifters), and Theo Peoples (The Temptations and The Four Tops).

“We’ll do all those songs by our respective groups, so hit after hit after hit,” Coleman told WTOP. “This should be so much fun. Come out and join us. We’ll take you back with those songs you know and love, the first kiss, the wedding song, all those songs.”

On Friday, they will play the Next Generation Indie Book Awards at the Mayflower Hotel.

“We will have a live performance at the Indie Book Awards,” said Coleman. “We had the great pleasure of winning several awards just before COVID with our book ‘My Time to Shine,’ but we’ll be there Friday night doing our thing for the awards. … The awards gala is a private event. … We will make sure everyone has a good time.”

On Saturday they will perform at the new Carlyle Room on I Street, Northwest.

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“The audience can come down and take a seat,” Coleman said. “We will be more or less the opening act of the club. It was formerly known as the Carlyle Club in Alexandria, Virginia. They have since moved and will reopen this week as the Carlyle Room. … It’s a wonderful supper club, with a great atmosphere, so it’s going to be a good night.”

It’s a homecoming for Coleman and Blunt, who grew up together in DC.

“We’ve known each other since we were 7 or 8 years old,” Coleman said. “My mom says, ‘Joey, it’s time to get ready for choir rehearsal.’ … Her mom and my mom were co-directors of the youth choir at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. …That’s where we learned group harmony…as members of that group, which none of us joined, we were put in the group.”

They grew up listening to The Platters, who formed in 1952 to record “Only You,” “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “My Prayer,” and “The Great Pretender.” Coleman joined in 1982.

“My joining the group is a rags-to-riches story,” Coleman said. “I moved to New York from Washington DC to seek fame and fortune, but fortune was elusive. … I was going through a difficult time. I had my last 10 cents left. I had 10 cents in my pocket. … I had been given a series of The Platters. … I used that dime to dial that number and audition.”

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Meanwhile, The Drifters formed in 1953 for “Under the Boardwalk”, “This Magic Moment”, “There Goes My Baby” and “Save the Last Dance for Me” before Blunt joined in 1975.

“They sure were big shoes,” Blunt told WTOP. “[They] he had a string of hit records and many notable lead singers: Ben E. King, Johnny Moore, and Rudy Lewis. … When I came into the group, I was the young guy, the baby, so it was quite an experience.”

As for The Temptations, the group formed in 1960 for hits like “My Girl”, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, “Get Ready”, “The Way You Do The Things You Do”, “Just My Imagination”. ” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and “Ball of Confusion” before Peoples joined the group in 1992.

“I was put in the lineup with a long list of lead singers like Dennis Edwards, of course, David Ruffin, the late great Ali Woodson,” Peoples told WTOP. “I came when Ali was still in the group, that’s when I joined. Just working with him was an amazing feat. This brother was excellent. He was amazing at his craft, so I learned a lot from him.”

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Peoples left The Temptations in 1998 to join The Four Tops, who originally formed in 1953 to release a string of hits, including “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”, “Baby I Need Your Loving” , “It’s the same old song” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There”.

“I replaced Lawrence Payton when he passed away, so I had the pleasure of seeing Levi Stubbs,” Peoples said. “We were in Vegas one weekend doing a show and out of the blue Levi says, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been singing for 47 years, I think this is my last night, let me introduce Theo Peoples.’ None of us had a clue!”

Ultimately, Coleman, Blunt and Peoples came together to form Voices of Classic Soul in 2018.

“People wonder how the guys from The Drifters, Temps, Tops and Platters could come together as one unit,” Coleman said. “The Platters changed the game from doo-wop to fancy music, The Drifters had a New York twist, The Temps brought those two together. [and] The Four Tops in that same line. … It all culminates in a seamlessly flowing ensemble of music.”

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews Voices of Classic Soul (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation on my “Beyond Fame” podcast.