** This is just a short biographical summary – for the full story, check out this artist’s reviews! **
Harmony group the Majestics went through several distinct line-up phases before the final version was renamed the Monitors, the main feature being the presence of driving force Richard Street, another unheralded but hugely important member of the Motown family tree.
Street was a member of the Distants back in the Fifties, before that group coalesced into one half of the Temptations; having missed that particular boat, he and a few other sometime ex-Distants then formed a kind of rump continuation group, billed as “Richard Street and the Distants”, cutting a single for Thelma Records (named for Berry Gordy’s ex-wife). At Thelma, Street moved into production and songwriting, working with another group signed to the label, the Majestics, who’d released several singles for Contour and Chex, been through a glut of line-up changes, and were now looking for both material and direction. Street obliged, both providing them with songs and also singing with them when needed. When Street followed fellow Thelma alumnus Norman Whitfield to Motown as a writer, producer and A&R man, the Majestics (with yet another new line-up) in turn followed him. It didn’t take long for them to be reunited, Street’s desire to perform eventually seeing him dovetail regular vocal work with his administrative responsibilities (as well as writing and producing, he was a crucial cog in Motown’s Quality Control machine).
The Majestics had one slated Motown single release under that name, in 1964, cancelled before it appeared in stores; a second was cued up a year later, before the threat of legal action from a different group also named the Majestics prompted a last-minute name change to “Monitors”. For the rest of the story, see the Monitors.
Review Archive: The MAJESTICS (2 items)
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