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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Where is the lyrics
Please everyone ask for lyrics.
True love never dies.
Understand
boost1234.bm
I love this song it say all nothing but good memories!
to the Manhattans from uptown to George Washington and in New York New York to Jersey City and apartment complex it was a joy and memorable I miss you guys so much and Kenny no no no stop stop stop will you please come on to continue stop no I understand it was a hospital off of memories for your sleep but I had a ball I really had a ball and miss them miss y'all so much I'm having problems now but my eyes behind that but its ok its good when are y'all coming to Philly or when I get the oppor
nancyweissbe i n
Nothing but good memories!
I love this song. I miss you Al B. Martin! I love you!
Some Fine WINE, SLOW DANCIN'

MEMORIES

������������
Sunday night..... Art Laboe..... So Cal!
Gotta have these old. Friends in my jambalaya one spice I can't do without!!!!
I wish I was someones shining star and love me enough so write a song like this for me1
Love this song..memori e s
I love this song! I will never find another like AL B.
MARTIN! Now am so blue!
Every song they ever sang was unmeasurable .
I love this song! AL MARTIN! WE NEVER DANCED TO A LOVE SONG!
I wish you were mine! All mine AL Martin!
This song makes me think! I know! Here Comes The Hurt Again! AL MARITN I MISS YOU!
This song make me want to go find my man of 5 years! I miss him and I need him now more than ever!
I love all of their songs! Specially We never danced to a love song! Now that one really hits me hard!
deb.obrien28
my favourite song of all time LOVE IT!!
I'm. Feeling. This. Song. These. Guys. Knew. How. To. Charm. The. Ladies. I. Feel. The. Love. Already. And. It. Feels. Good. That's. Alright. Sweet. Bee
Im done, I can't stand the heartache of wanting you SO MUCH, and YOU SHOWED YOU COULD GIVE A FK ABOUT ME.
Liz gutierrez
Eddie gil sang this 4 me
I never danced to a love song.....mes s me up every time I hear it! It be like I am a naive teenager digging this guy at high school.
aqilalim21 They sounds you made love too .
Too
You only
My
Star
Kiss
Me.and
Stay
pcoit6
Gerald Alston and Blue make the group go. They are very smooth and the lyrics puts the ladies in the mood.
I love their music it take me bsck many years ago great music. Thank you
Good beat
Kiss and Say Goodbye - what a emotionally filled song. Outstanding piece of music.
Roller skating to this song❤️❤️❤️❤️
Ruby listen to .little Anthony &imperial sing tears on my pillow
The. Men's need. To. Take. A. Lesson. From. This. Group. Then. They. Will. Know. How. To. Treat. A.Woman. sweet. Bee
REMIND OF A EX MANY YEARS AGO SMILE...
Maaan this song makes me so sad :(
One of the songs I dedicate to my husband of 27 years...I LOVE YOU BABY
smooth.
Listening to Why You Wanna Love Me Like That on disc 3 is the song that should be on the forefront & what I was commenting on...try it, you'll like it. :-}
titigladys66
I love the Manhattan. ��
C L A S S I C! That's all I have to say!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
this song is soooo true........ . . .
Wow..1976/19 7 7 . . t h o s e were the best days...
"Am I Losing You"Smoove-a s - s i l k
Slipping away from my pleasure to-be forgotten
Wishing On A Star To-Follow Where Is The Love
H-Town~Rocki n ' ~ W e - A i n ' t - S t o p i n ' - T h a - M u s i c
LOVE+S Disciple*978 * 1 * ~ 8 m 1 4 y ~
EW&F....Phil l i p Bailey was just amazing.
I was a Jr. in H.S. when this song became a hit...and yes, much slow dancing at the gym....good times!!
Love this!!
Kiss and say goodbye
Just one more time they did the best love songs
Show more

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