By Alan Davies
Saturday, September 1, 2012
ONE of the lead singers of the Temptations will be entertaining fans of the Motown legends twice in Hertfordshire over the coming weeks.
MY Girl, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me), Get Ready and Ball Of Confusion – just some of the classic hits of the Temptations.
With their flashy on-stage suits, the Temptations are one of the most influential soul groups of all time.
And lead singer Richard Street, who was a member of the Tamla Motown legends from Detriot for 22 years, will be appearing twice in the county over the coming months.
A key figure in the Temptations line-up of the 70s, the three-time Grammy Award, two-time American Music Award winner will be performing at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage on Sunday, September 16.
The vocalist will then be appearing at the Alban Arena in St Albans on Thursday, October 4.
Born and raised in the Motor City, Richard Street began his musical career at the tender age of 12, playing piano and singing with his mother’s encouragement and support.
Since then he has been a professional entertainer for more than 47 years.
In 1955, Richard, his cousin along with best friend Melvin Franklin – later to become the Temptations’ legendary bass singer – was invited to join a vocal group: Otis Williams and The Distants.
This led to his recording with the Monitors, who were signed to Motown.
He also coached a three-girl group, which consisted of Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross.
Under his guidance, he helped the girl group and many other musical groups prepare themselves for recording contracts with Motown, known as Hitsville, USA.
Years later, the world came to know Florence, Mary and Diana as The Supremes.
Richard is also knowledgeable of the music industry from the inside, and held a most coveted position in Motown’s quality control department, which was responsible for which talent was being considered for the company, and which recordings were selected for record release and radio air play.
Well known as an incredible vocalist, in the early days of Motown Richard lent his tenor to sweeten vocal tracks, but stayed away from the public eye.
This placed him in the unique setting of being the voice behind many of the leads in the Temptations, although no one actually saw him in the group.
He was on the microphone in the wings as the vocalist on stage lip-synched to his vocals, frequently receiving a standing ovation.
In 1971, he assumed his rightful place with the Temptations as a full time member, staying with them until 1993.
With all but one of the original members of the Michigan group having passed away, Richard presents the music of the Temptations in its classic five-man format with a line-up consisting of Lawrence Jones together with bass singer Eddie Watkins, Larry Johnson and Chicago native Bob Henley III, formerly with Smokey Robinson.
* Tickets for the Stevenage date in the main hall at the Gordon Craig cost £24, with concessions £2 off.
Prices for the Alban Arena show are £21.50 and £19.50 concessions.