The loss of two Motown icons: Bobby Rogers and Richard Street
Bobby Rogers, co-founder of Motown Group The Miracles, dies
The singer, songwriter and founding member was 73
ABOVE PHOTO: In this March 20, 2009 file photo, members of the Motown group The Miracles, from left: William “Smokey” Robinson, Warren “Pete” Moore, Claudette Rogers, and Robert “Bobby” Rogers, are honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Rogers, a founding member of the group and a collaborator with Smokey, has died. Motown Museum board member Allen Rawls said Rogers died Sunday, March 3, 2013, at his home. He was 73.
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Bobby Rogers, a founding member of Motown group The Miracles and a songwriting collaborator with Smokey Robinson, died Sunday at his suburban Detroit home. He was 73.
Motown Museum board member Allen Rawls said Rogers died about 6 AM in Southfield. Rogers had been ill for several years.
Rogers formed the group in 1956 with cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White and Robinson. Their hits included “Shop Around,” `’You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” `’The Tracks of My Tears,” `’Going to a Go-Go,” `’I Second That Emotion” and “The Tears of a Clown.”
“Another soldier in my life has fallen. Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend,” Robinson said Sunday in a statement. “He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.”
Roger’s cousin Claudette told the Detroit Free Press that everyone was drawn to his personality.
“People always commented on the tall one with the glasses,” she said. “He was personable, approachable and he loved talking to the women, loved talking to the guys, loved to dance, loved to sing, loved to perform. That was the joy of his life.”
His voice can be heard on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” with Rogers saying, “It’s just a groovy party, man, I can dig it.” Mary Wilson of the Supremes said that captured his essence.
“If people want to remember him, they should put that record on and listen to Bobby,” Wilson told the newspaper. “That’s who he was.”
Rogers and The Miracles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He was too ill to attend the ceremony.
He shared songwriting credits with Robinson on The Temptations’ “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” The Contours’ “First I Look at the Purse” and The Miracles’ “Going to a Go-Go.”
Funeral arrangements through James H. Cole Home for Funerals in Detroit were incomplete Sunday afternoon.
Richard Street, member of the legendary Motown group the Temptations is dead at 70
Detroit Free Press
Richard Street, who served with the Temptations during the group’s prolific second heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s, died Wednesday morning in Las Vegas of a pulmonary embolism. He was 70.
Street, a Detroit native, formally joined the Tempts in 1971 after a long association with the group, having performed with Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin of the Temptations in the 1950s vocal group the Distants.
Street’s death follows the Feb. 18 passing of Damon Harris, who joined the Temptations at the same time as Street and was with the group for four years.
Before joining the Temptations, Street wore several hats at Motown Records, working in the label’s quality control department, recording with his group the Monitors and periodically filling in for ailing Tempts baritone Paul Williams.
Street became a full-time Temptation upon Paul Williams’ departure, and was part of the Grammy-winning lineup that scored big on the pop charts with hits such as “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” (1972) and “Masterpiece” (1973).
The Temptations racked up more than four dozen Top 40 hits on Billboard’s R&B chart during Street’s tenure with the group, which ran through 1993, when he left amid alleged personal tensions with Otis Williams.
“He had a very colorful career,” said ex-wife Cal Gill Street of the Motown group the Velvelettes. “It pleases me to say he was with the group during its very productive years.”
The two Motowners had wed in 1969 and were divorced in 1983. They briefly left metro Detroit in the mid-1970s to live in Bel Air, Calif., before returning to Michigan. Their son, Richard Street Jr., lives in Kalamazoo.
Street, who had been ill during the past year, was close to completing a book about his life and musical career, said friend Jeanne Sorenson.
Street is survived by his wife, Cynthia Street of Las Vegas, along with two sons and two daughters.
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