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Tavares (group)

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Tavares at Harrah's Casino & Hotel, Atlantic City in 2015 (left to right: Chubby, Butch, Tiny and Ralph Tavares)
Tavares at Harrah's Casino & Hotel, Atlantic City in 2015 (left to right: Chubby, Butch, Tiny and Ralph Tavares)
Background information
Also known asChubby and the Turnpikes, The Tavares Brothers
OriginNew Bedford, Ma. and Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
GenresPop, R&B, soul, funk, disco
Years active1959–present
LabelsCapitol Records, EMI, RCA
  • Perry Lee "Tiny" Tavares
  • Feliciano Vierra "Butch" Tavares Jr.
Past members
  • Ralph Vierra Tavares
  • Victor Earl Tavares
  • Arthur Paul "Pooch" Tavares
  • Antone Laurence "Chubby" Tavares

Tavares (also known as The Tavares Brothers) is an American R&B and soul music group composed of five Cape Verdean-American brothers. Some were born in New Bedford, Massachusetts,[1] and Providence, Rhode Island, and they would move back and forth between the two cities throughout their childhood. They are best known for their 1976 hit "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel".


The brothers, whose parents were of Cape Verdean descent, started performing in 1959 as Chubby and the Turnpikes when the youngest brother was nine years old.[2] P-Funk keyboardist/architect Bernie Worrell briefly joined the group in 1968, while attending the New England Conservatory of Music. Future Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer appeared as the drummer with the group in a later incarnation called The Turnpikes from the fall of 1969 until September 1970, when he was invited to join Steven Tyler's band. He was later replaced with drummer Paul Klodner and bassist Steve Strout, which gave them a tight, punchy rhythm section. Chubby and The Turnpikes signed with Capitol Records in 1967 and had a couple of local hit records including "I Know the Inside Story" in 1967 and "Nothing But Promises" in 1968.[3]

By 1973, they had changed their name to Tavares and scored their first R&B top 10 (Pop top 40) hit with "Check It Out",[4] and soon began charting regularly on the R&B and pop charts. Their first album included their brother Victor, who sang lead on "Check It Out", but dropped out of the group shortly afterward. In 1974, Tavares had their first No. 1 R&B hit with Hall & Oates's "She's Gone".[4]

"Anonymous vocally, the creatures of various cheerfully crass producers, these five brothers are professional entertainers without apology."

Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981)[5]

1975 turned out to be their most successful year chartwise, with a Top 40 Pop album (In the City), the No. 25 hit "Remember What I Told You to Forget", and their biggest hit, the Top 10 Pop/No. 1 R&B smash "It Only Takes a Minute",[2] which was later successfully covered by both Jonathan King and Take That, and sampled by Jennifer Lopez. They parlayed this success into a spot as an opening act for The Jackson 5. KC and The Sunshine Band was also on this tour. "Minute" was followed by a string of hits: "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel", "Don't Take Away the Music" (both 1976), and "Whodunit" (1977, another No. 1 R&B hit).[2] In 1977 they also recorded "I Wanna See You Soon", a duet with Capitol labelmate Freda Payne, which received airplay on BBC Radio 1 but failed to chart.

Many of their hits, however, underplayed their R&B background and gave the group the image of being a disco act. This perception was reinforced by their appearance on the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever in 1977. Tavares recorded the Bee Gees song "More Than a Woman", and their version reached the Pop Top 40 that year.[2] The soundtrack became one of the most successful in history, giving Tavares their only Grammy Award.

Later albums, such as Madam Butterfly and Supercharged, strayed from the disco format and were less successful on the pop chart (although they continued to have Top 10 R&B hits such as "Never Had a Love Like This Before", and the popular sociopolitical "Bad Times", written by British singer-songwriter Gerard McMahon). At the start of the 1980s, Tavares left Capitol Records, signing with RCA Records. They had one last major hit, the ballad "A Penny for Your Thoughts", for which they were nominated for a Grammy in 1982; their last major release was Words and Music in 1983.

In 1984, Ralph stepped down from the group. Pooch took over as the non-commissioned business/booking agent for Tavares from 1984 to 2014. Tiny left in the mid-1990s to pursue his solo career, while the other three brothers continued to tour. Tiny rejoined the group in 2009. Musician Feliciano "Flash" Vierra Tavares, the family patriarch and father of all members of Tavares, died in 2008.[6]

Chubby Tavares released his first solo album, Jealousy, on July 17, 2012, a few months after Tavares, the Four Tops (who recorded the original version of "Remember What I Told You to Forget"), and The Temptations toured the UK together. Preceding the album, a digital-only single was released called "It's Christmas". On December 17, it reached No. 5 on Amazon's Acid Jazz chart. Both the album and the single were produced by Carla Olson, and the album was released by "Fuel Records"/Universal Records.

In 2013, the brothers were honored with "Lifetime Achievement Awards" by The National R&B Music Society Black Tie Gala, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. All six brothers attended and performed on stage together for the first time in 37 years.[7]

In 2014, Pooch suffered a stroke and the business/booking for Tavares was turned over to Oriola Mngmt LLC. He regained his health and opted for retirement.[8]

Ralph Tavares died on December 8, 2021, two days before his 80th birthday.[9] Pooch Tavares died in April 2024, at the age of 81.[10]

Band members[edit]

  • Ralph – Ralph Edward Vierra Tavares (December 10, 1941 – December 8, 2021)
  • Pooch – Arthur Paul Tavares (November 12, 1942 – April 15, 2024)
  • Chubby – Antone Lee Tavares (born June 2, 1944)
  • Butch – Feliciano Vierra Tavares Jr. (born May 18, 1948)
  • Tiny – Perry Lee Tavares (born October 23, 1949)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Record Label
1974 Check It Out 160 20 Capitol
Hard Core Poetry 121 11
1975 In the City 26 8 93
1976 Sky High! 24 20 36 7 2 22
1977 Love Storm 59 15 99 67
1978 Future Bound 115 55
1979 Madam Butterfly 92 13 90
1980 Supercharged 75 20
Love Uprising 205
1981 Loveline
1982 New Directions 137 30 RCA
1983 Words and Music 208 48
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications Record Label

1977 The Best of Tavares 72 42 39 Capitol
1993 Capitol Gold: The Best of Tavares 28
1996 The Greatest Hits EMI
1997 It Only Takes a Minute: A Lifetime with Tavares
2001 The Best of Tavares EMI-Capitol
2002 Classic Masters Capitol
2004 Anthology
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US Dan

1973 "Check It Out" 35 5 Check It Out
1974 "That's the Sound That Lonely Makes" 70 10
"Too Late" 59 10 67 Hard Core Poetry
"She's Gone" 50 1 96
1975 "Remember What I Told You to Forget" (A-side) 25 4 46
"My Ship" (B-side)
"It Only Takes a Minute" 10 1 2 17 In the City
"Free Ride" 52 8 71
1976 "The Love I Never Had" 11
"Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel" 15 3 1 18 30 11 9 1 30 4 Sky High!
"Don't Take Away the Music" 34 14 48 7 5 4
1977 "The Mighty Power of Love" 25
"Whodunit" 22 1 31 32 15 7 3 5 Love Storm
"One Step Away" 16
"Goodnight My Love" 14
"More Than a Woman" 32 36 29 34 7 Future Bound
1978 "The Ghost of Love" 48 29
"Timber" 94
"Slow Train to Paradise" 18 62
"Never Had a Love Like This Before" 5 Madam Butterfly
1979 "Straight from Your Heart" 77
"Bad Times" 47 10 Supercharged
1980 "I Can't Go on Living Without You" 42
"Love Uprising" 17 Love Uprising
1981 "Loneliness" 64
"Turn Out the Nightlight" 45 Loveline
"Loveline" 47
1982 "A Penny for Your Thoughts" 33 16 15 60 45 17 New Directions
1983 "Got to Find My Way Back to You" 24
"Deeper in Love" 10 41 Words and Music
"Words and Music" 29
1985 "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel (Remix by Ben Liebrand)" 8 11 12
"Don't Take Away the Music (Hands off the Music Mix)" 48
1986 "It Only Takes a Minute (Remix by Ben Liebrand)" 46
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Awards and Honors[edit]

Grammy Awards:[19]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1979 Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack Album of the Year Won
1982 A Penny For Your Thoughts Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal Nominated
  • Inducted into the Cape Verdean Museum Hall of Fame (2006).[20]
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by The National R&B Music Society (2013).[21]
  • Inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2014.[22]
  • Griffin Court in New Bedford, MA renamed Tavares Brothers' Way (2024).[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hogan, Ed. "Tavares | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1993). The Guinness Who's Who of Soul Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 261. ISBN 0-85112-733-9.
  3. ^ "Cover Story: Aerosmith Play to Win". Rolling Stone Magazine. Archived from the original on April 28, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "US Charts > Tavares". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: T". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  6. ^ Coddy, Don (December 19, 2008). "Tavares patriarch dies". The Standard-Times (New Bedford). Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  7. ^ Brown, Curt. "Tavares honored with Lifetime Achievement Award from Rhythm and Blues Music Society". Southcoasttoday.com. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  8. ^ Rizik, Chris (August 4, 2014). "Arthur "Pooch" Tavares suffers stroke". SoulTracks. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  9. ^ "Ralph Tavares of New Bedford R&B group passes away". WJAR. December 8, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  10. ^ Weisberg, Tim (April 17, 2024). "New Bedford Music Legend 'Pooch' Tavares Passes Away". FUN 107. Retrieved April 17, 2024.
  11. ^ a b David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Tavares". RPM. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c "NL Charts > Tavares". MegaCharts. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  14. ^ a b c "UK Charts > Tavares". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  15. ^ a b c "British certifications – Tavares". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 7, 2022. Type Tavares in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  16. ^ "IRE Charts Search > Tavares". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  17. ^ "NZ Charts > Tavares". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  18. ^ "American certifications – Tavares". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  19. ^ "Tavares-Artist-GRAMMY.com". October 10, 2023.
  20. ^ "Cape Verdean museum hall of fame". Rhodeislandmusichalloffame.com. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  21. ^ "R&B Music Society Past Honorees". Rnbmusicsociety1. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  22. ^ "RI Music Hall of Fame: Tavares/Chubby & The Turnpikes". Ripopmusic.org. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  23. ^ "New Bedford honors iconic music group Tavares with street, Tavares Brothers' Way". Yahoo News. January 12, 2024. Retrieved February 27, 2024.

External links[edit]