April 23, 2017 – Kerry Turman (long time bass player for the Temptations) was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 28, 1957.
Kerry left Detroit, Michigan at the age of 19 to pursue his passion in music and further develop his “chops” in Los Angeles, California. He cut his teeth as part of the killer band that Roy Ayers (King of Neo Soul) put together in the late 1970s.
In the 1970s and 80s he traveled the world playing the bass for many artists, including, Roy Ayers, Evelyn “Champagne” King and legendary drummer Gene Dunlap.
He landed the job with the world renowned group, The Temptations in the late 1980s and the fact that he held that job for the next 27 years, tells a lot about his quality as a bass player and human being.
Turman’s work can be heard on such notable albums as Ayers’ Starbooty and Fever as well as the Temptations’ 1997 smash Phoenix Rising and their recording, Still Here.
Kerry will be remembered by all who knew him for his kindness, his “steel trap” memory and the many strong friendships he developed over the years. The tenacity that allowed Kerry to achieve top ranking in his profession, did not prevent him from being an incredibly nice guy. To all who knew Kerry, they felt like they gained a brother, uncle, confidant and life-long friend.
Turman was known in music circles as a fantastic musician who loved all music but considered his all-time favorites the Jackson 5, Larry Graham and Prince. His fellow musicians appreciated his passion for music and his strive for perfection, which was strongly based on the belief that ‘less is more’.
According to Coroner John Clifton an initial autopsy indicated that Kerry Turman had died of natural causes in the early morning hours of April 23, 2017.
The Beach Boys’ Mike Love wrote on Facebook that Sunday was ‘a very sad day’ on the Surf & Soul Tour.
‘Sometime around 7am, Kerry Turman, the bass player for the Temptations, was found in his hotel room unresponsive. It’s incredibly shocking as we were just chatting and hanging around backstage Saturday night in Cape Girardeau,’ he said.
‘KT was a gentle giant with incredible talent. He played bass on songs that will forever be part of our American songbook for the last 33 years. He was always so kind and jovial. ‘KT was known to be a devoted father and family man. We certainly would’ve understood if the Temps canceled their performance in St Charles, MO, but they soldiered on in KT’s memory and honor. KT’s bass stood in his place tonight.
‘We performed In support of our touring family, The Temptations honoring the memory and talent of our family member, KT. His smile and spirit will be missed. R.I.P. KT. Peace & Love,’ he finished: ‘Mike Love & your Beach Boys family.’