Damon Harris owns the beautiful soft falsetto that came closest to Eddie Kendricks’ voice. This fact did not necessarily work to his advantage, however. Some dyed-in-the-wool Eddie fans called Damon a copy cat. Others simply kept comparing him unjustifiably harsh to the great Eddie Kendricks, claiming that Damon’s voice — although very much like Eddie’s — simply lacked the maturity to sound as convincing and beautiful as Eddie’s. I admit these were valid points made — but Damon still had a brilliant voice, and it possessed its own beauty.
When Damon joined the Temptations in 1971, he was not even 21 and almost ten years junior to the rest of the crew. He replaced Eddie’s short-lived successor Ricky Owens and stayed with the Temptations until 1975. (There are different reasons given for his departure, depending on who tells the story.)
Before he joined the Temptations, he sang with the Young Vandals, whose Good To You is a favorite of mine. On Good To You one can hear that Damon definitely aimed at sounding like Eddie Kendricks. After his split with the great Tempts, he re-created his first group, The Young Vandals, under the new name Impact. They released a homonymous album in 1976, from which today’s post is taken.
I just happened to find this brief clip and thought I’d share it with you. It is such a touching testimony.
Damon Harris with The Temptations live in Paris (1973) Love Woke Me Up This Morning. I just love Damon … (His performance starts at approx. 1:20)