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Surviving Four Tops member cuts up at NPR radio show taping

for Journal Register Newspapers

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DETROIT -- The Four Tops' Abdul "Duke" Fakir has spent plenty of time on the Fox Theatre stage during his long career, but never quite like this.

Fakir, 76, was the special guest at Thursday night's (Jan. 19) taping of the NPR radio show "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!," which will air on Saturday (Jan. 21). Dressed in a brown suit and sporting his trademark glasses, the only surviving member of the Tops' original lineup spoke with host Peter Sagal and the show's three-member panel, telling stories about the formation of the group, signing with Motown, recording the 1965 hit "It's the Same Old Song" and how he got his nickname -- drawn from his mother calling him Dukey as a child.

Fakir also talked about the Tops' longevity ("We discovered at a very early age (that) as long as we stay together, we have something.") and the group members' decisions to remain in Detroit rather than moving to Los Angeles, saying that the city "stabilized" he and his groupmates. He also acknowledged that even in his mid-70s he "still has moves" but has "cut my steps in half" since the Tops' heyday.

Fakir also played one of the show's quiz games, titled "You Are One of the Four Tops; Now It's Time For Three Bottoms," getting two of the three questions right.

The taping was the third visit to Michigan -- but first in Detroit -- by the Peabody Award-winning "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!," which usually tapes in Chicago. The show has previously recorded episodes in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

This week's show will be heard at 10 a.m. Saturday on WDET-FM (101.9) and Michigan Public Radio (97.1 FM). The show will also be podcast at www.npr.org/waitwait.

Web Site: www.npr.org/waitwait

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