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Second Cup Cafe: The Four Tops

With Motown Records celebrating its 50th anniversary, there's no better time than now to bring back a group that helped it define an era. When the Four Tops signed with Motown, they began on the path to rock history.

The legendary Four Tops stopped by to perform in The Early Show Saturday Edition's "Second Cup Cafe" and reminisce about a time filled with soul.

Founded in Detroit, the Four Tops began singing together in 1953 under the name the Four Aims. Although they signed a deal with Chess Records under that name, they went on to change it to the Four Tops to avoid being confused with the Ames Brothers.

The dynamic quartet not only recorded with Chess Records, but made the rounds and recorded for Red Top, Riverside and Columbia Records.

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In 1963, they signed with Motown Records and produced 20 Top-40 hits in a span of 10 years.

Made up of Levi Stubbs, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Lawrence Payton, they knew the meaning of family. And with that loyalty came over four decades of camraderie and sheer talent for making music. Today, Fakir is the only surviving member of the original group.

Their unforgettable albums that transcend generations include "Baby I Need Your Loving," "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)."

Other famous tunes include "Shake Me, Wake Me" (1966), "Bernadette" and "Standing in the Shadows of Love" (both 1967).

After being on the road touring for decades, they still remained relevant with their 1988 release of "Indestructible" on Arista Records.

The '80s were good to them. In 1986, Stubbs was the voice for Audrey II, the man-eating plant, in the film "Little Shop of Horrors."

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.

In 2004, they remained contemporary, making Rolling Stone Magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. This year, the Four Tops will make history again when they receive The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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