The original lead singer of The Foundations, Clem Curtis, said working with the band was “paradise”.
Curtis, from Olney in Buckinghamshire, was speaking in an interview recorded two days before his death on Monday, aged 76.
The star who sung on the band’s 1967 number one hit Baby, Now That I’ve Found You, told the BBC: “The Foundations came along at a time when music was going downhill.
“We made music that made people happy.”
Curtis’ wife Yelena said the star had been diagnosed with two cancers about six months ago.
Last meeting with a legend, by Justin Dealey, BBC Three Counties Radio
Justin spoke to Clem Curtis on Saturday, two days before the singer died.
Clem is a man I’ve loved interviewing over the years for my music programmes.
He’s so down to earth he’s even phoned into my show for requests.
Even during what turned out to be the last few hours of his life, he wanted to thank his fans.
I didn’t recognise Clem when I first walked in, but then he smiled that instantly recognisable infectious smile, and it lit up the room.
As I walked out, I saw a silver disc by the front door given to Clem in recognition of one million copies being sold of Baby, Now That I’ve Found You.
His music lives on. We’ve lost a legend.
Speaking on Saturday, she said: “Doctors cannot do anything about it, so we are spending time at home having our happy days together.”
Asked if doctors had given an indication how long Curtis had left, she added: “It depends on what his mind and body will decide to do.
“Doctors said he will never walk again, but he is walking now.”
Despite his diagnosis, Curtis played a last concert in February, saying: “The show must go on.”
“I got a lot of messages from people wishing me well,” he said. “I tried to keep it under wraps, but I couldn’t.
“You give a little and take a lot. I enjoyed every moment of being with The Foundations.”
Curtis left The Foundations before the release of their best-known hit Build Me Up Buttercup, but later returned to sing with various line-ups.
Baby, Now That I’ve Found You is claimed to be the first chart-topper by a British multi-racial band.