The Temptations earn their final #1 hit with “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”
On December 2, 1972, the Temptations earn the last of their four chart-topping hits when “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” reaches #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Over the course of their storied career, the Temptations placed 38 hit records in the pop top 40. Beyond their quantitative achievements, the Temptations also embodied the original Motown ideal that the records mattered more than the people who made them—for good and for ill. Various intrigues, upsets and tragedies saw the Temptations’ lineup change almost annually during their heyday, but the turmoil went largely unnoticed by the record-buying public. Indeed, in an era when pop groups were coming to be known as much for the personalities of their individual members as for their music, the Temptations—a group in which all five members sometimes sang lead—remained essentially unknowable other than through their incredible records.