Turley Richards

The youngest of five, Turley was born in Charleston, West Virginia. His Dad was a pipe fitter and his Mother a seamstress and housewife.

Although Richard’s life has been filled with what others perceive as tragedy, he exudes a positive spirit contagious to all whom cross his path. Woven throughout his life story, he demonstrates the ability to direct energy from life challenges into an optimistic attitude that continues to drive him forward.

At the age of four, Turley was playing a silly game bent over holding a pillow to his bottom while an older neighbor took aim with a bow and arrow. Curious, Turley looked around to see what was taking so long when the arrow pierced his left eye resulting in total loss of vision in that eye. With improper medical treatment, sympathetic reaction set in and slowly but surely infected the right eye. Years later he lost sight in that eye as well.

Richards endured eight operations from ages 6-16 and every time they pulled the bandages off, he just knew he was going to see better. He never did. He did, however, have an excellent voice even at a young age. The workers at his Dad’s plant pooled their money and bought him a Victrola record player and some records. His Mom bought him a kazoo, shaped liked a sax at a five and dime and he was on his way. At fifteen, he started a group called The Five Pearls. The inception of his music was in the R&B field, leaning towards The Drifters, The Clovers, and The Count Basie Band. He then got a spot on The Dick Reid Record Hop, a clone of American Bandstand, and he traveled the state of West Virginia, becoming known as The West Virginia Superstar.

In the early 60′s Turley tried his luck with a trip to Los Angeles with two other musicians. A train back to West Virginia soon took him home as the musicians threw in the towel. Not accepting defeat, he headed to New York with his guitar, suitcase, and 87 dollars, which did not last long. After running out of money, Turley was forced to sleep in Central Park and sing at pubs for meals and handouts. Finally, Turley got a break. A woman he had met worked for Norman Schwartz, who managed Stan Getz, Gary McFarland, and others. Turley was introduced and he was on his way to a record deal with MGM. Through the years, Turley was signed by seven major record labels, including Warner Brothers, Columbia, Atlantic, Epic, MGM and 20th Century Fox. Every single that was ever released was a “pick hit” in Billboard, and while Turley sold 1.4 million records, he always has felt that poor management decisions prevented him from attaining multi-platinum sales.

For the past fifteen years, Turley has been working as a performer, producer, vocal coach and music consultant. He has jump-started a comeback with a new album and plans for a DVD about his life. “I have been asked what keeps me going and how I overcome so many obstacles. My inner strength is from my Mother’s words of wisdom. She used to say, “It’s a tough world out there, honey, and you just got to be tougher than the toughest”.

Seeing Turley in concert is an experience you will not forget. Joe Boyland, who has managed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Nazareth, BJ Thomas, and others once was quoted, “Turley is the best performer with a guitar in his hand that I have ever seen, hands down. What he can do with his voice, guitar, his rhythm, and pounding that big right leg on the stage blows my mind. Best I have ever seen.”

See Turley in person for yourself. You will be glad that you did.

Turley has been seen on national TV shows like:
  • Dick Clark’s American Bandstand
  • David Frost
  • Merv Griffin
  • Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show
Turley also hosted his own variety show.
Turley has shared the stage with many big names like:


  • Bobby Rydell
  • Chubby Checker
  • Frankie Avalon
  • Jimmy Clanton
  • Paul Anka
  • Jackie Wilson
  • Bobby Darin
  • Bobby Bare
  • Boots Randolph
  • The Crickets
  • The Dick Clark Caravan (TV)


  • Richard Pryor (comedian)
  • Richie Havens
  • David Frye
  • Gene Pitney
  • B.J.Thomas
  • Bobby Goldsboro
  • The Real McCoy’s
  • Chad and Jeremy
  • The Outsiders
  • Len Barry


  • The 5th Dimension
  • Miles Davis
  • Jerry Lewis (telethon)
  • Tony Bennett
  • Aretha Franklin
  • George Carlin (comedian)
  • Sarah Vaughan
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara (comedians)
  • Ace Trucking Company
  • Laura Nyro
  • Shelley Berman
  • Professor Erwin Corey
  • Paul Butterfield
  • James Cotton
  • Albert King
  • Freddy King
  • Leo Kottke
  • Incredible String Band
  • Cat Stevens
  • Joe Walsh
  • Glen Frye
  • Steve Miller
  • Pointer Sisters


  • Tony Randall (comedian)
  • Morey Amsterdam
  • William Holden
  • Van Johnson
  • Woody Allen
  • Steve Allen (comedian)
  • Sally Kellerman
  • Moody Blues
  • Poco
  • Cold Blood
  • Spirit
  • Vanilla Fudge
  • Deep Purple
  • Black Sabbath
  • Jethro Tull
  • First Edition with Kenny Rogers
  • Oliver
  • Booker T & the MG’s
  • Rare Earth
  • Gallagher (comedian)
  • Ray Charles
  • Phil Keaggy
  • Art Linkletter (comedian)
  • Fleetwood Mac