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Melvin Franklin
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    (October 12, 1942-February 23, 1995)
    Born in Montgomery, Alabama
    Birth name was David Melvin English
    Bass singer in the Temptations (1961-94)
    Uncle of Rick James
    He was suspended from school for singing in the hallways.
    When future bandmate Otis Williams first approached him as a teen, he ran away, thinking Otis was a gang member who wanted to rob him.
    During the Temptations' early, hitless years, Eddie Kendricks tried to get him fired, arguing bass singers were passé.
    He suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, which he treated with cortisone injections so he could continue performing. The constant use of cortisone led to further health complications, including diabetes and necrotizing fasciitis.
    He was shot in the hand and leg while trying to stop a man from stealing his car (1978).
    Motown head Berry Gordy said, 'You couldn't find anyone to say anything bad about him.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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