Tuesday, April 29, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Manhattans

Artist:The Manhattans
Song:Kiss And Say Goodbye
Album:Kiss And Say Goodbye: The Best Of The Manhattans

The Manhattans started out in the 60s. But they had their biggest success and their only number one hit with Kiss And Say Goodbye in 1976. What's interesting is they had most of their success after original lead singer George Smith died in 1970, a tragedy that would have killed most groups. The Manhattans started out in 1962 as Jersey City, NJ high school students. George "Smitty" Smith was lead singer. Winfred "Blue" Lovett sang bass and wrote a lot of the songs with Edward "Sonny" Bivins. Other members were Kenny "Wally" Kelley and Ricky Taylor. The Manhattans recorded for Carnival Records and had modest success on the R & B charts with songs like I Wanna Be (Your Everything). A 1969 switch to King Records owned label Deluxe didn't seem to help much. Then George Smith fell down a flight of stairs and was unable to perform. He died on Dec. 16, 1970. They looked for a new lead singer. A couple of years earlier, they had seen Gerald Alston perform with his gospel group. They asked him to join at the time but he declined. This time he did join. The Manhattans signed with Columbia Records and the new version of the group seemed to perform better on the R & B charts. Lovett wrote Kiss And Say Goodbye with the intention of selling it to Glen Campbell. But Philadelphia International producer Bobby Martin heard the demo and thought it could be a big hit for The Manhattans. Martin was drummer for MFSB and he also produced The Three Degrees. Kiss And Say Goodbye topped the pop and R & B charts in 1976. The Manhattans other top five pop hit was Shining Star in 1980. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. The Manhattans remained with Columbia until 1986. Alston left to go solo in 1988. Lovett and Kelley left in 1990. Bivins continues to lead a version of The Manhattans today. In 1995, Lovett formed his own version of The Manhattans featuring Alston. They have recorded and appeared on a couple of PBS specials. Both groups are active which is very confusing for fans. Here's The Manhattans performing Kiss And Say Goodbye.

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