NEW YORK – The O'Jays (search) are riding the "Love Train" all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
If it weren't for Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, The O'Jays might not have ever come to be. "Frankie Lymon comes to town with the Teenagers and just kills the girls, and especially our girlfriends, when were like 14- 15-years-old," O'Jays singer Walter Williams told AP Radio. "So we decided we'd start up a little singing group and it turned into this."
Williams said they formed The O'Jays to keep the girls interested in them because even their girlfriends were swooning over Lymon. "Yeah," he said with a laugh. "For the most part, yep, that's pretty much how it started."
The O'Jays were part of a trend of singing groups out of that place and time.
"Groups sprang up all over the Ohio area," Williams said. "Out of one of those groups was Ruby and the Romantics, 'Our Day Will Come,' we used to work with them all the time. Fortunately, we both went on to have a decent career."
And Motown choreographer Cholly Atkins gave them a piece of advice The O'Jays took to heart.
"Guys, hit records come and go but the main thing you have to concentrate on is to maintain a hit act," Williams remembers Atkins as saying. "Always have a good audience that's faithful and loyal and they'll come to see you."
And after 43 years and 42 albums of classic R&B, The O'Jays are still finding success.
"Ah, man! I don't what to say, it's overwhelming," he said. "It's been a good career. I mean with the ups and downs, even it's been a good career."
An edited version of the ceremony will air Saturday on VH1.