|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
The Manhattans in 1972
|Origin||Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Genres||Rhythm and blues|
|Labels||Carnival Records, Columbia Records, King Records|
|Members||Edward "Sonny" Bivins (original member)
|Past members||Gerald Alston
*Winfred "Blue" Lovett
*George "Smitty" Smith
*Kenny "Wally" Kelley
*Richard "Ricky" Taylor
* = Original members
The Manhattans are an American popular R&B vocal group, with a string of hit records spanning four decades, their best known million-selling songs being "Kiss and Say Goodbye" and "Shining Star" in 1980.
The Manhattans, originally from Jersey City, New Jersey, formed in 1962 with members George "Smitty" Smith, Edward "Sonny" Bivins (born January 15, 1942, Macon, Georgia), Winfred "Blue" Lovett (born November 16, 1943), Kenny "Wally" Kelley (born Kenneth Kelley, January 9, 1943, New Jersey), and Richard "Ricky" Taylor. Bivins, Lovett, and Kelley were graduating from Lincoln High School, while Taylor and Smith were graduating from Snyder High School. All five enlisted in the armed forces and came together as a group following their discharges from their respective branches.
The group's first single was "For the Very First Time," released in 1964 by Carnival Records. They continued recording successfully with songs written by various members of the group. In 1968, the group received the "Most Promising Group" award by NATRA. In 1969, the group moved to the De Luxe record label, a subsidiary of King Records, subsequently embarking on a college tour. While playing at Kittrell College in North Carolina, the group met another group, the New Imperials, featuring Gerald Alston, nephew of The Shirelles' lead singer, Shirley Alston-Reeves. They were so impressed with Alston that they asked him to join the group, but he declined.
Misfortune hit the group late in 1970 when George Smith fell down a flight of stairs and later took ill. Unable to perform, the group began to search for a new lead. First they attempted to woo The Cymbals' lead, Lee Williams, but he was unwilling to leave them. The group then renewed their request to Gerald Alston (born November 8, 1951, North Carolina), who accepted and took over the lead spot. Original lead singer George Smith died of a brain tumor on December 16, 1970.
The Manhattans continued recording throughout the 1970s with Alston singing lead vocals. They struck chart gold in 1976 with "Kiss and Say Goodbye," written by Blue Lovett and arranged/co-produced with the group by the Philadelphia-based record producer Bobby Martin, a former member of the MFSB band of session musicians. The song quickly became a #1 chart topper on both the US Billboard Pop and R&B charts. It also became only the second single to go platinum, after the RIAA introduced the award in 1976. Taylor left in 1976 to concentrate on his conversion to Islam. He died in 1987 after a long illness. The group continued as a quartet, and found further success in March 1980 with the release of "Shining Star," which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the R&B Chart. Produced and co-written by the Chicago-based record producer, Leo Graham, it received a Grammy Award the following spring.
The song "Just The Lonely Talking again", originally recorded by The Manhattans on their 1983 album Forever By Your Side, was later recored by Whitney Houston on her second studio album Whitney (1987).
The group celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1985 with the release of Too Hot To Stop It. It included the Bivins/Smith penned "We Were Made As One," originally recorded in 1966 but covered in an a cappella, doo wop style to emphasize the group's doo wop roots. The album was also dedicated to George Smith.
The group continued until 1988. That year, Alston left to record as a solo artist, scoring with several major R&B hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s for Motown. Roger Harris was recruited as the new lead singer for the group, which moved to the new label, Valley Vue, when their Columbia recording contract expired.
The group's largest shake-up occurred in 1990, when Blue Lovett left due to health problems, and Kenny Kelley returned to college to pursue his PhD. Bivins, now the only remaining original member, took over management of the group. He recruited new members Alvin Pazant, Harsey Hemphill, and Charles Hardy, bringing the group back to a quintet. Harris proved to be only a short-term lead, however, as he left in 1991, and was replaced by Wade Taylor. Taylor left a few months later. Bivins then recruited Lee Williams, the person whom they had originally wanted to replace George Smith.
The current line-up of the group is Bivins, Williams, Pazant, Hemphill, and Hardy. They released the CD Manhattans Now in 1994, and in recent years the group has been featured in the play, Girl, He Ain't Worth It. In 1996, the group formed Manhattan Entertainment Inc. In 2013, the group was in the studio with producer Leroy Burgess recording a New! Album to be released in Spring, 2014. Westwood Music Group is the exclusive business agent for The Manhattans.*(R) The Manhattans is a Registered U.S. Trademark owned by Manhattan Entertainment, Inc.
For what would be their 30th reunion, former member Blue Lovett decided to return to the music scene with his own Manhattans in 1995, bringing back Gerald Alston as lead vocalist in his group. They are currently a quartet with Troy May and David Tyson, brother of The Temptations' Ron Tyson. In the past, the group also featured Eban Brown, now the lead vocalist for The Stylistics. This group has also released some CDs, including Even Now. This group was featured in two PBS specials.
|1966||Dedicated to You||—||19||—||—||Carnival|
|1967||For You and Yours||—||—||—||—|
|1970||With These Hands||—||—||—||—||De Luxe|
|1972||A Million to One||—||35||—||—|
|1973||There's No Me Without You||150||19||—||—||Columbia|
|1974||That's How Much I Love You||160||59||—||—|
|1977||It Feels So Good||68||12||—||Gold|
|1978||There's No Good in Goodbye||78||18||—||—|
|1983||Forever by Your Side||104||17||—||—|
|1985||Too Hot to Stop It||171||44||—||—|
|1986||Back to Basics||—||—||—||—|
|1989||Sweet Talk||—||—||—||—||Valley Vue|
|2007||Reachin' for the Sky||—||—||—||—||KRB Music|
|2008||Men Cry Too||—||—||—||—||S.D.E.G.|
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified|
|Year||Album||Chart positions||Record label|
|1999||Live from South Africa||—||—||—||Classic World|
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart|
|Year||Album||Chart positions||Record label|
|1990||Dedicated to You: Golden Classics, Part 1||—||—||—||Collectables|
|Sing for You & Yours: Golden Classics, Part 2||—||—||—|
|1995||The Best of the Manhattans: Kiss and Say Goodbye||—||—||—||Columbia/Legacy|
|I'm the One That Love Forgot||—||—||—||Collectables|
|2008||Sweet Talking Soul 1965-1990||—||—||—||Shout! Factory|
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart|
|1964||"For the Very First Time"||—||—||—||—|
|"There Goes a Fool"||—||—||—||—|
|1965||"I Wanna Be (Your Everything)"||68||12||—||—|
|"Searchin' for My Baby" (A-side)||135||20||—||—|
|"I'm the One That Love Forgot" (B-side)||135||—||—||—|
|"Follow Your Heart"||92||20||—||—|
|1966||"Baby I Need You"||96||22||—||—|
|"I Bet'cha (Couldn't Love Me)"||128||23||—||—|
|"It's That Time of the Year"||—||—||—||—|
|1967||"All I Need Is Your Love"||—||—||—||—|
|"When We're Made as One"||—||31||—||—|
|"I Call It Love"||96||24||—||—|
|1968||"I Don't Wanna Go"||—||—||—||—|
|"'Til You Come Back to Me"||—||—||—||—|
|1969||"The Picture Became Quite Clear"||—||—||—||—|
|1970||"It's Gonna Take a Lot to Bring Me Back"||—||36||—||—|
|"If My Heart Could Speak"||98||30||—||—|
|"From Atlanta to Goodbye"||113||48||—||—|
|1971||"Let Them Talk"||—||—||—||—|
|"I Can't Stand for You to Leave Me"||—||—||—||—|
|1972||"A Million to One" (A-side)||114||47||—||—|
|"Cry If You Wanna Cry" (A-side)||—||48||—||—|
|"One Life to Live"||102||3||—||—|
|"There's No Me Without You"||43||3||—||—|
|"Do You Ever"||—||40||—||—|
|"You'd Better Believe It"||77||18||—||—|
|"Wish That You Were Mine"||—||19||—||—|
|1974||"Summertime in the City"||—||45||—||—|
|"Don't Take Your Love"||37||7||—||—|
|1976||"Kiss and Say Goodbye"||1||1||12||4|
|"I Kinda Miss You"||46||7||—||—|
|1977||"It Feels So Good to be Loved So Bad"||66||6||—||—|
|"We Never Danced to a Love Song"||93||10||—||—|
|1978||"Am I Losing You"||101||6||—||—|
|"Everybody Has a Dream"||—||65||—||—|
|1979||"Here Comes the Hurt Again"||—||29||—||—|
|"The Way We Were"/"Memories" (medley)||—||33||—||—|
|"Girl of My Dream"||—||30||—||—|
|"I'll Never Find Another (Find Another Like You)"||109||12||—||—|
|1981||"Do You Really Mean Goodbye?"||—||—||—||—|
|"Just One Moment Away"||—||19||—||—|
|"Let Your Love Come Down"||—||77||—||—|
|"Forever by You Side"||—||30||—||—|
|1985||"You Send Me"||81||20||8||—|
|"Don't Say No"||—||60||—||—|
|1986||"Where Did We Go Wrong?" (with Regina Belle)||—||42||—||—|
|1987||"All I Need"||—||41||—||—|
|"Why You Wanna Love Me Like That"||—||62||—||—|
|1990||"I Won't Stop"||—||79||—||—|
|2001||"Nites Like This"||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes the release failed to chart|
2013 "Just For Tonite"
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 346. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "US Albums Charts > The Manhattans". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "UK Charts > The Manhattans". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "US Certifications > The Manhattans". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "US Singles Charts > The Manhattans". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-06-26.