[The Temptations. (1960–)]

Theme from Shaft - Autograph Score with Set List and Musical Fragments

An interesting sheet of autograph music and other notes from the beloved Motown group, ca. early 1970's. 4 pp. manuscript paper bifolium. The first page has a partial score for the 1971 Isaac Hayes song "Theme from Shaft"; the second page six lines of rhythm and text with two lines of chords below; the third page a set-list of Temptations classics; and the final page one instrumental part for "Take a look around," with a further two lines of sketched music at the foot and the note "Rehearsal 5:00 pm" at the head. Some light toning and pencil smudges, but overall fine. 9.5 x 12.5 inches (24.3 x 31.8 cm).

The influential 1971 film Shaft stars Richard Roundtree as the eponymous private detective, hired by a Harlem mobster to rescue his daughter from the Italian mobsters who have kidnapped her. One of the first and most successful blaxploitation films, the movie touched on themes of race, masculinity, and sexuality. "Theme from Shaft," the theme song by Isaac Hayes, was also wildly successful and was awarded a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack Album and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. We have found no recordings by the Temptations of "Theme from Shaft," but we take it that this score, evidently in the hand of one of the group's members, was made for a performance during the early 1970's when the film and song were extremely popular. 

We have also been unable to identify the spoken-word section on the second page in any of their songs, which is a list of their famous song titles, rhythmicized and with the first few phrases assigned to singers "Dennis" [Edwards], "Damon" [Harris] and the "Group." The seven measures of chord changes at the foot suggest this section may have been spoken over a vamp as part of one of their songs or medleys. The set list on the next page lists the songs Superstar, I Can't Get Next to You, Ain't No Sunshine, Cloud Nine, Take a Look Around, Get Ready, Beauty is Only Skin Deep, I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, Never Can Say Goodbye, Imagination, Ball of Confusion, and We Love You, among others. 

From the the collection of Rosa Parks' lawyer, Gregory Reed, who also represented the family members and Estates of members of various Motown groups, including the Temptations. (16945)

Manuscript Music