From the South Orange Performing Arts Center:
Featuring the golden voice of Gerald Alston, the legendary Manhattans make a return visit to the South Orange Performing Arts Center on Sept. 29 at 8 p.m.
With a Grammy Award for “Shining Star,” this tight-knit group is still making beautiful music that evokes memories. Their tight harmonies and charisma make them one of the most enduring of all R&B groups that achieved lasting fame.
Winfred “Blue” Lovett, Richard Taylor, Kenny Kelly, George “Smitty” Smith and Sonny Bivins created the sound that is the signature of The Manhattans. Blue was also the group leader and an outstanding songwriter whose compositions with producer Joe Evans gave the group a string of hits on Carnival Records during the mid-1960s.
A significant change happened when Gerald Alston took over as lead singer. More a Pop singer than either Lovett or Smith, Alston’s incorporation into the group enabled The Manhattans to incorporate a more contemporary sound leading them to major national success on Starday/King Records with a Teddy Randazzo love song entitled “A Million To One.”
In 1972, Blue Lovett’s “One Life To Live” reached the top 20 R&B charts. With Alston handling all lead vocals and Lovett providing smooth spoken introductions, The Manhattans moved to Columbia Records in 1973 where they collaborated with producer Bobby Martin on a string of hit ballads including, “There’s No Me Without You,” “We Never Danced To A Love Song” and “Hurt.” The most notable of these ballads was Blue Lovett’s “Kiss And Say Goodbye,” a platinum selling #1 Pop and R&B hit in 1976. In that same year, The Manhattans recorded “Feels So Good,” “You’re My Life” and “There’s No Good In Goodbye.” Since then have received their share of platinum and gold singles, albums, and other industry kudos, most notably a 1980 Grammy for “Shining Star” written and produced by Leo Graham.
On February 25, 1999 The Manhattans were inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame. In 2003, The Manhattans released their first studio album in fifteen years featuring the beautiful ballad “Turn Out The Stars” which became one of the year’s best songs.
The Manhattans are celebrating their 56th anniversary in 2018. Beloved by audiences around the world, their music has been the soundtrack of generations.
The Manhattans appear on the SOPAC stage September 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $58-$78 and are on sale now. They can be purchased at http://www.sopacnow.org/manhattans or by calling the box office at (973) 313-2787.