Councilmember Cheyenne Johnson presents members of The Temprees with a resolution designating Joubert Avenue (from Kansas to Riverside) as The Temprees Avenue. The street name ceremony is set for next month. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

by James Coleman —

Seventies soul standouts the Temprees Tuesday (July 20) joined the ranks of Memphis artists who have had a street honorarily named after them when the Memphis City Council adopted a resolution granting the honor.

Joubert Avenue, between Kansas and Riverside in South Memphis, will be rechristened. The resolution was sponsored by Councilmember Cheyenne Johnson.

The group was lauded for their contributions to Memphis’ musical heritage

“It is my honor to have with me and joining us today the famous Temprees. To my far left is Mo Washington, Harold Scott and Del Calvin. These gentlemen, young men, have been here in the city of Memphis for over 50 years providing community service, as well as singing about and promoting the city of Memphis,” said Johnson.

As part of their “thank you” to the council, the group gave a brief demonstration of their vocal talent.

The vocal trio formed in the mid-1960s with members Jasper “Jabbo” Phillips, Harold “Scotty” Scott and Deljuan “Del” Calvin while in junior high. Phillip’s falsetto was featured prominently. By the 1970’s the group signed with We Produce, a subsidiary of Stax Records. 

They released three LPs on the label. They also appeared at the Wattstax festival in 1972, held following the Watts riots in Los Angeles. The benefit concert featured several notable Stax artists and later was featured in a hit movie documentary.

By the middle of the decade, they moved on to Epic records. The personnel changed too. In 1976, they joined the disco craze and scored a hit with “I Found Love on the Disco Floor” with the label. It was their last hit. 

They mounted a comeback in 1990. Ten years later, they released the album “Because We Love You” with Memphis indie label High Stacks. A double album box set followed in 2007. 

In 2016, they released their fifth album, “From the Heart,” with another retooled lineup, which included Washington’s addition.