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The Main Ingredient

The Main Ingredient toiled in obscurity for the better part of the '60s before making it big as a sweet, romantic soul outfit with a particular flair for ballads. Paced by the impassioned lead vocals of Cuba Gooding during their prime hitmaking years, the Ingredient is best remembered for their 1972 classic "Everybody Plays the Fool," but released a number of other fine singles, mostly during the first half of the '70s. The group was formed in Harlem in 1964 as a trio called the Poets, composed of lead singer Donald McPherson, Luther Simmons, Jr., and Panama-born Tony Silvester. They made their first recordings for Leiber & Stoller's Red Bird label, but soon changed their name to the Insiders and signed with RCA. After a couple of singles, they changed their name once again in 1966, this time permanently to the Main Ingredient.

Nothing much happened until the Main Ingredient hooked up with producer Bert DeCoteaux, who had an excellent sense of the lush, orchestrated direction soul music would take in the early '70s. Under his direction, the Main Ingredient reached the R&B Top 30 for the first time in 1970 with "You've Been My Inspiration." Things grew steadily from there; a cover of the Impressions' "I'm So Proud" broke the Top 20, and "Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling in Love)" went Top Ten. They scored again with the McPherson-penned black power anthem "Black Seeds Keep on Growing," but tragedy struck in 1971: McPherson, who had suddenly taken ill with leukemia, passed away unexpectedly. Stunned, Silvester and Simmons regrouped with new lead singer Cuba Gooding, who'd served as a backing vocalist on some of their previous recordings and had filled in on tour during McPherson's brief illness.

The Gooding era began auspiciously enough with the million-selling smash "Everybody Plays the Fool," which hit number two R&B and number three pop to become the group's biggest hit ever. The accompanying album, aptly titled Bitter Sweet, became their first to hit the Top Ten on the R&B charts; its follow-up, 1973's Afrodisiac, featured several songs written or co-written by Stevie Wonder, although it didn't produce any huge successes on the singles charts. They returned to the R&B Top Ten in 1974 with "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely," which sold over a million copies and also reached the pop Top Ten, and the disco-flavored "Happiness Is Just Around the Bend," which did not. In 1975, the group recorded several songs co-written by Leon Ware, including the R&B Top Ten "Rolling Down a Mountainside." By this point, however, Silvester was harboring other ambitions; he released a solo album called Magic Touch that year, and left the group to form a production team with Bert DeCoteaux.

Silvester was replaced by Carl Tompkins, but the chemistry wasn't the same, and Gooding departed for a solo career on Motown in 1977, which produced two albums; Simmons, meanwhile, left music to work as a stockbroker. Gooding, Silvester, and Simmons reunited as the Main Ingredient in 1979, and cut two more albums, 1980's Ready for Love and 1981's I Only Have Eyes for You (the latter featured a minor hit in "Evening of Love"). The trio reunited for a second time in 1986, but their Zakia single "Do Me Right" flopped, and Simmons returned to his day job. He was replaced by Jerome Jackson on the 1989 Polydor album I Just Wanna Love You. In the wake of Aaron Neville's Top Ten revival of "Everybody Plays the Fool," Gooding resumed his solo career and issued his third album in 1993. Silvester and Simmons re-formed the Main Ingredient in 1999 with new lead singer Carlton Blount; this lineup recorded Pure Magic in 2001. Gooding's son is, of course, Cuba Gooding, Jr., the actor best known for his Oscar-winning performance in Jerry Maguire. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Grown folks music
boost1234.bm
I like your song because it you back to 70
No guarantee
Rather b luv
It may be factual it may be cruel
Everybody plays the fool sometime
THIS REAL MUSIC WHEN COMING UP ! DAD USED TO PLAY ALL THIS KIND OF MUSIC LEARN FROM IT PLEASE! BELIEVE ME!!!
I'm a young buck compare to some of you but I remember my mom playing almost all these classic. I love the 60's and 70's music
I just want to be LOVE
just love the very first ballards of the Main Ingredient with Donald in the lead....just beautiful
This takes me right back to the 70's in Savannah, Ga., school dances and house parties. They make music like this anymore.
PLACES AND SPACES THANK U THE MOMENTS KNOWN NOW RAY, GOODMAN AND BROWN SMILE......
I WANT TO THANK U ALL THE SONGS OF 60S AMEN SMILE...
U CUBAN GOODING SR & JR IS TO SEXXY MENS AND OMAR U HANDSOME TOO SMILE. MY SONG OF ALL TIME. REMIND ME OF SPECIAL PLACE IN THE TIME CALLED PLACES AND SPACES SMILE.....
Love this song when I was growing up.
Mac69duce on toP!
still spinning around with the Main Ingrediant
love the soullfull sound of Donald as the Main Ingrediant
Their cover of Summer Breeze is about the funkiest thing I've ever heard. Google it!! You'll thank me.
love the original sweet sounds of the main ingredient.. . . i t s just so gentle with great harmoney
Main ingredient tanking us back haha
Oh how I love I'm So Proud by the Main Ingredient.. . . . I love how they slowed it down from the original sound by The Impressions. . . .
I SAW THEM IN CONCERT IN CHICAGO IN 2010. I GROWN -UP WITH CUBA GOODING SR. MUSIC AND MY CHILDREN GROWN-UP LOOKING AT CUBA JR. AND OMAR GOODING WE LOVE THEM ALL SMILE..KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK....
Yes im so proud of me too!
the sounds that never change that lets you know how to love and have you wanting to make love
My heart cries when I hear this song! Oh just ?-- RQ/rxh
Falling in luv with this jam 4 sure.
the tune SPINNING AROUND. super sweet.
This is real music have listened since the early 60's
LOVE U BABY!!
The Original Rap Game
Start liking them they only have 1,603 likes
Just lke it was years ago!!! The quality and feelings are the same!!!
Dig this, everybody plays the fool, I know I've been there!!
taaliballen5
I once song with cuba gooding ( 1969-1970) taalib #585 319 3473
I know everybody does play the fool, no exceptions to the rule!
Just don't want to be lonely, I rather be loved.
greglewis899 4
Real music. ., with inspiration too stay true too what matters most in lfe!
Real music.... Back then, all they talked about was love, peace and happiness... . Now, smh not even close
This grown folks music I can listen too this music all nite long
zachsmom71
Love this.
I'm so proud will always be one of my favorites!
Don't read this because it actually works.You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least143 minutes when if done press F6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is scary cuz it actually works.
gaylewatkins 6 5
Main Ingredient were so smooth and sexy when they performed. I wish that they could do a reunion show because they had very smooth voices.
This is the way I feel about someone!
THIS ISWHAT GOOD MUSIC ABOUT!!!!!!! !
i love them all
i will always love this music
Never heard this version of Make It With You...wonder f u l !
aprilp20
Love the Main Ingredient! Especially loved their early hits penned by the late great Donald McPherson!
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