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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 group 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 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. Five years later, Silvester died of cancer. Gooding, the father of Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., continued to lead the group through performances with new members. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Everybody Plays The Fool: The Best Of The Main Ingredient

1. Everybody Plays The Fool

2. Just Don't Want To Be Lonely

3. Superwoman

4. Rolling Down A Mountainside

5. I Am Yours

6. Happiness Is Just Around The Bend

7. You've Got To Take It (If You Want It)

8. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

9. Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling In Love)

10. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

11. Let Me Prove My Love To You

12. I'm So Proud

13. You've Been My Inspiration

14. Make It With You

15. Euphrates

16. Black Seeds Keep On Growing

x

Track List: A Quiet Storm

1. You've Been My Inspiration

2. Where Were You When I Needed You

4. Something 'Bout Love

5. Just Don't Want To Be Lonely

6. Don't Wonder Why

7. That's What Fate Will Do

8. Baby Change Your Mind

9. Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling In Love)

10. I'm Better Off Without You

11. Everybody Plays The Fool

13. I'm So Proud

14. It's So Sweet (Loving You)

15. You've Got To Take It (If You Want It)

16. Girl Blue

17. I Want To Make You Glad

18. Where Are You

19. I'm Leaving This Time

20. That Ain't My Style

x

Track List: Golden Classics

1. Everybody Plays the Fool

2. California My Way

3. I'm So Proud

4. Good Old Days

6. Rolling Down A Mountainside

8. Goodbye My Love

9. You've Been My Inspiration

10. Shame On The World

12. Happiness Is Just Around The Bend

Comments

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I wish there was music made like this now
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EVERYBODY PLAYS THE FOOL .... So true ....
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I �� this group
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For my baby.. I cant get over you....
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Just Don't Want To Be Lonely ......
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Wett wett.love you so much ������������ .
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Unsung next season...
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Im So Proud .,,,,, being loved by you ...<3
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You are everything and everything is you. Come on if you you did not get some. You did not earn it.! !!!!!
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I always make a foul of myself dancing to this. I love it!!
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rootiekazoo7
Yup, everybody does play a fool, however I'm not putting up with anyone's BS anymore. Period. :)
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Cool
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The Tom Cross Record Hop Days 1970/1971
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Donald MacPherson was my grandma brother
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As a kid in the 70's,this group
was the s**t... To Listen to.facts
Al Wild��bx.riv e r
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nancyweissbe i n
I'm so proud of you! Beautiful song❤️
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Yup that's what I say
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yvettepennin g t o n 3 4
I saw them in concert 2 years ago they were great
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Love so much , ��
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You did not pick me, I'm still proud of what you have done in life.
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Look for yah at unsung guys...
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Beautiful song
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Everyone plays the fool sometimes
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I must be falling in love
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one of my favs
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Too bad I cant say "IM SO PROUD TO BE LOVED BY YOU!! YOU NEVER DID.
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saw cuba on channel 5 this am - hilarious. the original group is coming to dc aug 25th - love it - everybody plays the fool cuba jr looks ad acts just like his dad. really made my day
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I love this song .
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One of my all time favorite love songs. The words speak of real love.
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spinning around in the world, walking on cloud nine.....mus t be falling in love
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Yes. Everybody. !!!!True. And. Great. Song
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Oh man the Main Ingredients, where do I start, I love the stuff out of this group, love, love, old school! I'm young again when I listen to these great groups!!
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This song just made my day
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must be falling in love all over again with the first album of the Main Ingredient
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mcortes2896
love the oldies!!!
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:)
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No exceptions ;)
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Just don't want to be lonely
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No guarantee
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One of life's lessons, everybody at one time or another as been in that situation
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cuba junior must be proud of dad
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Spinning Around With The Main Ingredient
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spinning around with the Main Ingredient.. . . m u s t be falling in love
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I'M SO PROUD OF YOU BEING MY MOMMA ( SANDRA LAJOYCE ELLISON )
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When music was music, and captured the way you felt, .......
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I like this, It take me back when I was marriage
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Grown folks music
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I like your song because it you back to 70
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No guarantee
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Rather b luv
Show more

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