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The Manhattans

The Manhattans were one of those classic R&B vocal groups who manage to achieve incredible career longevity by adapting their style to fit changing times. Formed in the '60s as a doo wop-influenced R&B quintet, the Manhattans reinvented themselves as sweet smooth soul balladeers during the '70s. In doing so, they somehow overcame the death of lead singer George Smith, and with new frontman Gerald Alston became more popular than they'd ever been, landing an across-the-board number one hit in 1976 with "Kiss and Say Goodbye." Under the leadership of Winfred "Blue" Lovett (who also composed some of the group's biggest hits), the Manhattans survived as a viable chart act well into the '80s, over two decades after their formation.

The Manhattans got together not in their namesake location, but in nearby Jersey City, NJ, in 1962. The group was centered around lead singer George "Smitty" Smith and bass (and sometime lead) vocalist Winfred "Blue" Lovett; the other original members were Kenny Kelley, Richard Taylor, and Edward "Sonny" Bivins, the latter of whom sometimes co-wrote material with accomplished songwriter Lovett. In 1964, the Manhattans signed with the Newark-based Carnival label and teamed up with producer Joe Evans; they scored their first hit in early 1965 with "I Wanna Be (Your Everything)," a number 12 R&B hit that established their way with a ballad right from the beginning. It was the first of eight singles for Carnival, a string that continued up through 1967. None were huge hits, but nearly all of them reached the Top 30 on the R&B charts, and are still prized by collectors of vocal-group soul for their aching harmonies, Smith's intense leads, and lack of concession to mainstream pop audiences.

In 1969, the Manhattans signed on with DeLuxe and issued several singles over the course of 1970. Unfortunately, Smith fell ill that year, and the group hired Phil Terrell as a temporary fill-in. Sadly, Smith passed away in 1971; he was replaced on lead vocals by Gerald Alston, who brought a smoother, more pop-friendly sound to the group. That quality soon became apparent when the Lovett-penned "One Life to Live" zoomed into the R&B Top Five in late 1972, giving the Manhattans their first major hit. The following year, they left DeLuxe for Columbia, where their debut single, "There's No Me Without You" (written by Sonny Bivins), equaled the R&B chart peak of "One Life to Live" by reaching number three. Initially working with producer Bobby Martin, the Manhattans' records now fell into line with the sweet, string-laden sound of contemporary '70s soul. The Manhattans hit the R&B Top Ten again in 1974 with "Don't Take Your Love" and 1975 with "Hurt," but their biggest success was still to come.

In early 1975, the Manhattans had recorded a Blue Lovett composition called "Kiss and Say Goodbye," which was released as a single almost a full year later. It became the second platinum single in history (after Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady") and their first number one hit in the spring of 1976, not just on the R&B charts, but the pop side as well -- a remarkable feat, considering that they'd never had a single peak higher than number 37 on that survey. While it proved difficult to match the crossover success of "Kiss and Say Goodbye," the Manhattans reeled off a string of Top Ten R&B hits -- "I Kinda Miss You," "It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad," "We Never Danced to a Love Song," and "Am I Losing You" -- that lasted into early 1978 and made them staples on the newly emerging quiet storm radio format. Their momentum slowed over the next couple of years, but they came back strong in 1980 with "Shining Star" -- not a cover of the Earth, Wind & Fire hit, but a co-write by their new producer Leo Graham. "Shining Star" reached the Top Five on both the pop and R&B charts, went gold, and won a Grammy -- overall, not a bad haul.

The Manhattans' last major hit came with 1983's "Crazy," which put them in the R&B Top Five for the final time; they bade farewell to the Top 40 in 1985 with a cover of Sam Cooke's "You Send Me." That year Richard Taylor left the group, which carried on as a quartet for a few years; Taylor passed away in December 1987. Gerald Alston signed with Motown as a solo artist in 1988, upon which point the group finally parted ways with Columbia and recorded an album for the small Valley Vue label before disbanding. Alston and Lovett reunited in 1993; with new members Troy May and David Tyson, they toured regularly into the new millennium, with the occasional recording appearing on a small label. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Sweet Talking Soul 1965-1990

Disc 1

1. I Wanna Be (Your Everything)

2. Searchin' For My Baby

3. Follow Your Heart

4. Baby I Need You

5. Can I

6. I Bet'cha (Couldn't Love Me)

7. When We're Made As One

8. I Call It Love

9. It's Gonna Take A Lot To Bring Me Back

10. If My Heart Could Speak

11. From Atlanta To Goodbye

12. A Million To One

13. Cry If You Wanna Cry

14. One Life To Live

15. Back Up

Disc 2

1. There's No Me Without You

2. Do You Ever

3. You'd Better Believe It

4. Wish That You Were Mine

6. Don't Take Your Love

7. Hurt

8. Kiss And Say Goodbye

9. I Kinda Miss You

10. It Feels So Good To Be Loved So Bad

11. We Never Danced To A Love Song

12. Am I Losing You

13. Everybody Has A Dream

14. Here Comes The Hurt Again

15. The Way We Were/Memories

Disc 3

1. Shining Star

2. Girl Of My Dream

3. I'll Never Find Another (Find Another Like You)

4. Just One Moment Away

5. Let Your Love Come Down

6. Honey, Honey

7. Crazy

8. Forever By Your Side

9. You Send Me

10. Don't Say No

x

Track List: ...Even Now...

1. Love Me Right

2. Turn Out The Stars

3. Nights Like This

4. Even Now

5. Everyday People

6. Let's Try Love

7. Any Other Way

8. How Much More ?

9. I Got It Right

10. Lover's Lullaby

11. Can You Take It

x

Track List: Kiss And Say Goodbye: The Best Of The Manhattans

1. Kiss And Say Goodbye

2. Don't Take Your Love

3. There's No Me Without You

4. Wish That You Were Mine

5. The Day The Robin Sang To Me

6. That's How Much I Love You

7. Hurt

8. La La La Wish Upon A Star

9. I Kinda Miss You

10. It Feels So Good To Be Loved So Bad

11. Am I Losing You

12. Everybody Has A Dream

13. Shining Star

14. I'll Never Find Another

15. Just One Moment Away

16. I Was Made For You

17. Just The Lonely Talking Again

18. You Send Me

19. Goodbye Is The Saddest Word

x

Track List: It Feels So Good (Expanded Version)

1. I Kinda Miss You

6. It Feels So Good To Be Loved So Bad

8. We Never Danced To A Love Song

x

Track List: One Life To Live

1. One Life To Live

3. Don't Say No

4. The Way We Were/Memories

8. Just The Lonely Talking Again

9. There's No Me Without You

Comments

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ericatashaem a e o d a
I miss U Mae Oda Thomas...(my mother By the way)...����
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marieabella1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
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KISS AND SAY GOODBYE
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nancyweissbe i n
One life to live, so don't sweat the small stuff!
Take one day at time! Have a bless day❤️
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This song I live this thankful he came back .lol
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For the love of LEO continue to sing he's in heaven smiling down on us! Love you always MARGO!! Rest in Peace BIG LEE I'll always be your shinning Star!!!
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Kiss and Say Goodbye..... . t h e ultimate break up song....We can still be friends, lol.
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nancyweissbe i n
Wish you could be mine, very nice song❤️
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Play more because thinking back when these songs were made bring me out of a deep depression Lord we won't never see those days again from Debbie
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Leave a comment…
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MAGNIFIQUE ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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See Gerald, we would be lost without your voice. Don't stop!!!! Love you always and will never forget all the fun I had with you and LEO.
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aestrada223
Listening to 'Shining Star' while stationed at Upper Heyford, England. British ladies were beautiful and loved to dance. Think back on those times and am thankful for serving my country there from 1979 til 1982.
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GREW UP LISTENING TO THIS MUSIC STILL DO WONDERFUL MEMORIES
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jserrano2276
Love this song.
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This goes out to you ricky love you always
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That was baby making music
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tbonewink8
There's no school as ole school. Now that was music.
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I luvvv my old school music
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jserrano2276
I like it
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Great music
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Summer cookouts in Virginia.. good times:)
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My type of music love it
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kimready46
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Kiss and Say Goodbye~~the ultimate break up song, lol....,.
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Gerald although everyone has gone home to be with the Lord please don't you stop. Much love to you. Leo' girl Margo his Shinning Star. From the Windy City!!
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What a great band and one of the best singing voices.
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Gerald Alston is on my top voices list.
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I'm so sorry if i hurt you when i left but I do Love you ricky so much baby
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Give my love to you only you are my shining star ricky i'll never leAve you lonely love you
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;-) :-P
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Omg this was real music; best memories even for my kids who are now grown and still love it.
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KISS AND SAY GOODBYE ... muah goodbye it's best
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Love this music nothing like this old school music
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lizabdiaz
DITTO
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aestrada223
We 'Kissed and said goodbye' Mary Lou and I still hurt these 40+ years later. I love you babe.
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bjenkins251
Good tines, real music and great social networking. Where has the music gone.
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When you listen to this song it makes you not wanting to be alone. I am looking for a good woman to spend the rest of my life with.
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I'm hurting.beca u s e i miss you so much ricky love you baby please just one more time
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real music, good songwriters back in the days
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Yes you school now eat all family plays right into
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tfloyd504
Now this is real music. I remember my dad and mom always played this and many others.
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Luv it
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Ghost loving music
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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
lizabdiaz
♡♡♡♡SONG
Report as inappropriate
It feels so good, to be loved so bad.
I wanna love you, love you, love you, I don't ever wanna let you go.

That was the greatest era for music, and there will never be another. So thankful I grew up in that era. Don't know this music of today.
Report as inappropriate
Turn out the stars is one of my favorite.... . . . .
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What u know bout loving 24/7,the one u adore,w passion e dedicated time,like walking the line,why cuz ur mine, u fine youngster,l o v e
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U bring me up
Show more

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