Ali-Ollie Woodson is proud that he “gets to have my cake and eat it, too” when it comes to making music these days.
As part of the Temptations Revue featuring Dennis Edwards, Woodson — a Tempt from 1984-86 and 1988-96 — gets to hold onto his connection to the legendary Motown group for whom he wrote the 1984 hit “Treat Her Like a Lady.” But he also performs as a solo artist, getting to focus on his own music.
“You gotta keep the money flowing, man, keep the bills paid,” says Woodson, 56, who was born Ollie Creggett in Detroit. But, he adds, it’s “an honor” to be affiliated with an enduring piece of pop music history.
“Once a Tempt, always a Tempt,” Woodson explains. “I enjoy it. I attribute it to (Temptations founder) Otis Williams for giving me a shot, and I made the most of it.”
Besides releasing his own albums, Woodson also stays active as a songwriter; the Whispers recently recorded his composition “Can I Get Next to You?” But Woodson laments that he’s not particularly prolific in that arena.
“I don’t write a lot,” he says. “I envy some people who can just sit there and write a song for half an hour and end up with a whole song. I can’t do that. I’ve got to free my mind of a lot of stuff to sit down and concentrate on writing. I just take my time and ... hope that what comes out is good.”
Ali-Ollie Woodson performs at 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 30) at Arturo’s, 25333 W. 12 Mile Road in the AMC Star Theatre complex, Southfield. Tickets are $30, $40 for booth seating. Call (248) 357-6009 or visit www.arturosjazz.com.
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