Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A ‘Temptation’ of a story from 1969…

This Feb. 20, 1969 story of mine, published in The Bulletin (Emporia State’s newspaper), was deemed good enough to garner a Best Investigative News Story award. At that time, Emporia State University was called Kansas State Teacher’s College.
By Steve Crum
It all began with an innocent question: “I wonder who is sponsoring The Temptations?” Little did we know. 
The Teachers College Union Activities Council and Special Events Department were contacted and they knew nothing of any Temptations booking. Maybe the College of Emporia had something to do with it? They denied any such knowledge. Maybe an independent organization with the schools? Still negative.
Then who? Signs proclaiming “The Exciting Temptations In Concert” were posted throughout the city. Both D. & E. Drug Stores had been selling tickets to the concert for one day, and had already collected approximately four hundred dollars from ticket sales. The Temptations were to appear at the Civic Auditorium, March 7. And no one knew anything about it. Hence, a phone call to the manager of D. & E. Drugs, Ed Streit.
Streit was naturally disturbed at our interrogation, because he was selling tickets to the concert under the knowledge the Teachers College was sponsoring the group. And that the group was indeed THE Temptations. And that the tickets, which priced at $2.50 and $3.00, were “legitimately” supported by the college. Imagine his surprise. And imagine our bewilderment.
Onward we delved.
Tony Gregory, an agent for the William Morris Agency who books The Temptations, was called. He informed us that The Temptations would be appearing in Philadelphia on the evening of March 7. The Teachers College was definitely not on The Temptations agenda.
A Gary Stevens of Wichita had scheduled the Emporia Civic Auditorium for The Temptations, March 7. When contacted about the matter, Stevens reported he had been asked by a friend, Jack Skinner, to do a favor in securing the use of the auditorium, and that he (Stevens) knew nothing of the group that was to appear. Stevens added he had made “no contact” with Streit, no contact with the ticket printer, no contact for ushers, and that he did not know anything about about the group. It was just a favor for a friend.
The friend: Jack Skinner, a Las Vegas nightclub performer. When called, Skinner denied any knowledge of booking the group. However, Skinner admitted knowing Stevens. 
Hence the paradox. “The Temptations” are not coming to Emporia. That is, the nationally known, famous group. D. & E. Drugs is cordially returning ticket money to those who desire a refund. And “The Exciting Temptations”?
It could have been a sellout. 

Addendum: After the story was published, signs for the “Temptations” concert rapidly disappeared around town. There was never even a wannabe concert of Temptations impersonators. I have always felt that those who planned the concert definitely capitalized on The Temptations name, but thought they could legally get around any fraud by advertising the act as “The EXCITING Temptations.”
And now...the REAL Temptations...in concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpPPGYLN3ik

No comments:

Post a Comment