{Music Corner} Rest In Peace: Richard Street & Otis “Damon” Harris of “The Temptations”

by Tony Johnson


The music industry of R&B/Soul took a terrible lost by losing 2 performers just 9 days apart. Richard Street & Otis “Damon” Harris both former singers of the legendary Motown vocal group “The Temptations” and both famous for singing on the 1972 #1 hit “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”

Richard Allen Street (1942 -2013)

Cindy Street said her husband died on Wednesday (Feb 27) at St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Las Vegas. She had taken him to the emergency room on Friday after he had trouble breathing.
“He was fighting to the very last moment,” she said in a telephone interview from Las Vegas. “He was very happy. He had the kind of life he wanted. We laughed all the time.”

Street, died of a blood clot in his lung at age of 70

The Temptations was one of the leading male vocal groups of the 1960s and early 1970s, surviving several personnel changes to tackle a wide range of musical styles with tight harmonies and well choreographed dance routines.

Street was not in the original 1960s lineup but joined the band in the early 1970s and continued for more than 20 years before pursuing a solo career.

During his tenure, the Temptations released a string of hits including the 1972 chart-topping classic “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and “Masterpiece” released the following year.

“He was very proud of being part of black history,” his wife said, adding he loved performing. “He was very proud of what he had done.”

Street had completed a 45-show tour in Europe in September and October.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but will probably take place next week. Because her husband was a public figure, his widow said she thought she would open the services to the public. Street is also survived by four children.

Otis “Damon” Harris born Otis Robert Harris, Jr. (1950 – 2013)

Harris died on Monday (Feb 18) at the Joseph Richey Hospice in Baltimore, Md after fighting prostate cancer for 14 years, He was 62.

Harris, a native of Baltimore. As a teenager, Harris grew up admiring the Temptations, one of the top male singing groups of the 1960s and early 1970s, and formed a band with three high school friends named the Young Tempts that sang Temptations cover songs.

In 1971 at the age of 21 Harris auditioned to join the Temptations after the departure of Eddie Kendricks, one of the original lead singers of the group. When he joined, Otis Harris changed his name to “Damon” Harris, because, in his words, “the group already had an Otis”

Harris sang with the Temptations until 1975, helping the group win three Grammy awards and lending his voice to hits including “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, “Take a Look Around” and “Masterpiece.”

Information Source- Reuters

Copyright 2013 – Tony Johnson. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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{Music Corner}