By common consent the FOUR TOPS are one of popular music’s (not just soul’s) greatest groups. Founded in 1953 as the Four Aims, the Tops are still going strong today marshalled by original member ABDUL ‘DUKE’ FAKIR.
Soon, (May 5th to be precise) we can get the inside track on the iconic group when Duke publishes his memoir,’ I’LL BE THERE: MY LIFE WITH THE FOUR TOPS’. Set to a Detroit backdrop, the book includes stories of Duke’s childhood, how he found his love of music growing up, anecdotes about how the Four Tops formed, their early days as backing singers, and their years working with Berry Gordy at Motown Records.
Genial Duke says: “Most singing groups didn’t stay together for a lifetime, but The Four Tops did. Not until Lawrence Payton, Obie Benson and Levi Stubbs sang their last notes did we change our line-up. Now I’m the last Top left alive to tell our story and I’ve asked myself ‘why me?’ and ‘what kept us together for so long?’ In my view, most of it was out of our hands. Something bigger was at play from the very beginning. In the middle of the 20th century worlds were colliding, times were changing, and people were ready for a message of love and togetherness – and they could get that from music. The Four Tops were a part of that and maybe because of who we were – a band of brothers who stuck together, known for our melodious harmonies – we were ones to sing it”.
Duke adds that the book is just one part of the Tops’ story. A Tops’ musical, ‘I’ll Be There’ is due to open in Detroit later in the year while in the Autumn, the quartet will be touring the UK alongside sometime Motown colleagues, The Temptations.
In the meantime we look forward to the book … ‘I’LL BE THERE: MY LIFE WITH THE FOUR TOPS’ which is published by Omnibus Press on May 5th. More details @ https://omnibuspress.com/ where you’ll also be able to pre-order special signed copies.