THERE can be few musicians who have played a more pivotal role in developing popular music than Richard Street.
For more than 20 years he was officially the voice of The Temptations, one of the most successful male vocal groups of all time.
But Richard, now 70, and heading to Bolton’s Albert Halls tomorrow night, has contributed so much more.
After starting his career with Motown group The Monitors he was asked to work in the iconic record label’s quality control department – in effect choosing the artists and the songs which would become the soundtrack of the Sixties and Seventies.
Among the talent he spotted and developed was an all-girl trio who became known around the world as The Supremes.
“I just went to Motown to be an artist in my own right,” said Richard. “But when they offer you a job, you certainly don’t turn them down.
“It was so great to be involved with something like that, it was a very special place.”
Richard was officially part of The Tempations for 20 years, but many music fans don’t realise he was actually the voice of the group for a number of years before.
With lead singer Paul Williams often suffering health problems, Richard would sing live at shows hidden from the audience with Paul miming onstage. “I just consider myself to have been blessed to have been involved in music for so long,” said Richard.
“Performing is what I do, I have been doing it for over 50 years and I’m certainly not going to stop now.”
Richard’s live shows present the music of The Temptations in its original five-man group format hits including classics like Pappa Was A Rollin’ Stone and Superstar.
“The whole show is full of songs that people remember and love,” said Richard.
Richard Street, Albert Halls, Bolton, tomorrow. details from 01204 334400.