If you need a special break from the stress of life or just want to hear good music, then get ready to see the legendary Manhattans.
The classic R&B group will perform along with Ray, Goodman and Brown in Indianapolis on Sunday, Aug. 8 from 6 to 11 p.m. at The Venue, a new conference center located on the city’s Westside.
That concert will mark the first time that either group has performed in the Indianapolis area in several years, and is a treat for fans of vintage soul music.
The current lineup of the Manhattans features its most familiar members: Gerald Alston, lead singer on all of the group’s major hits, and original bass vocalist Winfred “Blue” Lovett. They will be joined by David Tyson and Troy May, who have been with them for more than 15 years.
“We truly appreciate all of you who have supported us from the beginning, and we thank you for keeping our music alive,” Alston said in a statement. “As always, we are looking forward to bringing a great show.”
The Manhattans were formed in New Jersey during the 1960s by friends returning home from the Army, and became known for vocal harmonies, smooth stage mannerisms and romantic arrangements.
Between 1974 and 1983, the group released a series of Top 10 R&B hits that are still popular on “quiet storm” radio formats, including “There’s No Me Without You,” “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” “It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad” and the pop crossover favorite, “Shining Star.”
With changing musical styles, the group faded from the charts during the late ’80s, but reformed in the mid-’90s and has been touring internationally ever since. Their most recent albums (2002’s “Even Now” and 2008’s “Men Cry Too”) made little commercial impact, but received very positive reviews from critics.
Celebrating 40 years in the music business this year, Ray, Goodman and Brown have not received the industry praise many believe they deserve. But fans continue to celebrate the group as a consistent crowd pleaser that delivers satisfying live performances.
Harry Ray, Al Goodman and Billy Brown began their career as The Moments, and quickly developed a following with the much-sampled song “Love on a Two Way Street” (1970), as well as 1973’s “Sexy Mama” and “Look at Me (I’m in Love”).
After a dispute with their record label, the singers changed the name of the group to Ray, Goodman and Brown, and returned to the charts in 1979 with the feel-good love No. 1 song “Special Lady,” and scored another major comeback with 1987’s “Take It to the Limit.”
Sadly, original tenor and falsetto lead vocalist Harry Ray died of a stroke in 1992, and was replaced by longtime group associate Kevin “Ray” Owens.
Owens, along with original members Al Goodman and Billy Brown, have become favorites on multi-group “old school” concerts, often stealing the show from other acts with their exciting stage presence.
In 2003, Ray, Goodman and Brown were introduced to a new generation of R&B fans when the group was asked to provide background harmonies on the Alicia Keys hit, “You Don’t Know My Name.” They have since performed on several occasions with Keys.
“To have four decades in this industry and still be going is absolutely a blessing,” Goodman said. “We just thank our fans for hanging in there. We are currently appearing on radio shows and working on new material. Keep us in prayer, and God bless all of those who have supported us.”
Note: At Recorder press time, it was reported that Al Goodman died this week at age 63. No further details on his death or concert plans were available.
Did you know?
Ray, Goodman and Brown® are fans of Indianapolis’ Ink Spots, recognized as one of the first R&B male vocal groups. Formerly known as the Moments, Ray, Goodman and Brown recorded cover hits of Ink Spots songs such as “If I Didn’t Care” and “My Prayer.”
One of two current Manhattans groups is led by original member, Edward “Sonny” Bivens.
Manhattans lead singer, Gerald Alston, appears on the Wu-Tang Clan song “Stick Me for My Riches,” and has released a tribute album, “Gerald Alston Does Sam Cooke.”
Double dose of romance
Who: The Manhattans, and Ray, Goodman and Brown
When: Sunday, Aug. 8, 6 to 11 p.m.
Where: The Venue, 5110 W. Pike Plaza Rd.
Tickets: $37.50 per person advance, $45 at the door. Advanced VIP seating is available for $50.
Tickets available by calling:
Indy Pro Audio at (317)-291-3608
Players Modern Clothing at (317)-545-3221
Leon’s Barbershop at (317)-546-2547
Harold Penner’s Man of Fashion (317)-297-1906
For more information, call (317) 295-9622 or visit www.thevenue.com.