They didn't just help define the "Motown Sound," they helped define the 1960s.
The Temptations and the Four Tops withstood the British Invasion and the onslaught on psychedelic rock and scored hit after hit, and created a staggering number of classic records through the 1960s and into to the '70s.
For the Temptations, there was "Ain't Too Proud to Beg, "My Girl," "I Wish It Would Rain," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," "Just My Imagination," etc., etc.
For the Four Tops, there was "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)," "Baby, I Need Your Loving," "The Same Old Song," "Bernadette," "Something About You," etc. etc.
The Temps and Tops have toured together many times over the decades, and they'll be at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Saturday. They probably won't be able to fit all their hits into one concert, but they'll no doubt perform a ton of them.
One caveat: each group has only one member of the original lineup remaining. That might be more noticeable in the case of the Four Tops, whose hits featured the distinctive voice of the late Levi Stubbs. The Temptations, even in their heyday, had several lead singers and a more fluid membership.
There's little doubt that such legendary groups have managed to attract members who can re-create the harmonies and emotions of those phenomenal records, so if you're more interested in the songs than singers this should be an outstanding evening.
Details: 8 p.m. March 23, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $30-$75. Information: www.vanwezel.org, 941-953-3368
-- Marty Clear