|Birth name||Cornelius Grant|
April 27, 1943 |
Fairfield, Texas, USA
|Associated acts||The Temptations|
Cornelius Grant (born April 27, 1943 in Fairfield, Texas, USA) is an American guitarist, composer, and band leader. He served as the musical director, guitar player, and live show arranger for Motown vocal group The Temptations from 1964 until 1982.
Grant was born in Fairfield, Texas, a small town 80 miles south of Dallas. Raised by his grandmother, who he adored, he taught himself how to play guitar at the age of nine. When he was 13, his family moved to Detroit. At 15, he was playing in clubs, bars, talent shows, and other functions. Within three years he was playing with Mary Wells, then Marvin Gaye before The Temptations snatched him up. Grant used a Gibson Birdland and a Fender Telecaster. He created the opening guitar riff on "I Know I'm Losing You". He wrote the hit song with Eddie Holland and Norman Whitfield. He also wrote "You're My Everything" with Roger Penzabene and Norman Whitfield. Penzabene, a close friend of Grant's, wrote "I Wish It Would Rain" and "I Could Never Love Another". Grant also wrote "Take Me in Your Arms and Love Me" and "Ain't No Sun (Since You Been Gone)" (performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips); "You Got to Earn It", and "I Gotta Find A Way (To Get You Back)" (performed by the Temptations); and "My Weakness Is You" and "I Want My Baby Back" (performed by Edwin Starr); Grant also co-wrote "I'm More Than Happy (I'm Satisfied)" for Stevie Wonder, and "Love and Affection" for Marvin Gaye.
With the Temptations he had a chance to play to fans in the Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. They were guests at the White House courtesy of President Richard Nixon. Grant also met Martin Luther King, Tricia Nixon Eisenhower, Jesse Jackson, Elton John, and The Beatles, and appeared on many television shows. Grant played on select Motown studio sessions' with the Funk Brothers from 1964 to 1970, including Gladys Knight & the Pips "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". As a rule, Grant played on all the sessions that featured songs he wrote or co-wrote, except one, "You Got to Earn It", which Smokey Robinson cut while Grant was on the road with the Temptations.
In 1983 Grant began writing for The Hollywood Reporter and contributed extensively to BRE Magazine as a columnist. A current project, "Flashbacks and Newtraks” is a radio show featuring interviews, entertainment news, oldies music, and many points of view by him and his co-host Sylkie Green. When Grant gives lectures, he sometimes shares the podium with Motown insiders such as Don Foster (former Supremes and Temptations manager) and TV writer/Motown historian, Ruth Adkins Robinson.
Grant launched a magazine, a line of cigars, some Temptation memorabilia, and music that can be purchased on his company’s website, and his non-profit organization called Starz of Tomorrow. His aim for this organization is to showcase new solo artists, group artists, choreographers, writers, directors, sound engineers, and those working behind the scenes. He wishes to give them an opportunity of a lifetime because he remembers what it was like being a young aspiring artist. Starz of Tomorrow is making room for everyone to have their chance at being a star.
- Cornelius Grant's Official Website
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- Cornelius Grant at the Internet Movie Database