The Latin Soul Cruise 2020 – STAR LINEUP
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.
T. Their work includes million-selling songs “Kiss and Say Goodbye” recorded in 1976 and 1980’s “Shining Star”. The Manhattans have recorded 45 chart hits on the Billboard R&B Chart, including twelve top 10 R&B hits in the United States charting on the Billboard chart for the first time in 1965. Sixteen of which reached the Billboard Hot 100, including two Top 10s and a number 1 hit with their song “Kiss and Say Goodbye”. Their 1983 song “Forever by Your Side” remains especially popular in Brazil thirty years after its release. They also charted some 8 U.S. R&B Top 20 Albums, three of which were R.I.A.A. certified gold
Brenton Wood’s : charmingly unpredictable phrasing and his infectious sense of good times made the smooth uptown soul of “The Oogum Boogum Song” and “Gimme Little Sign” into hits in 1967. Born Alfred Jesse Smith in Shreveport, LA, Brenton Wood moved west to San Pedro, CA, as a child. While he was studying at Compton College, he assumed the name Brenton Wood, naming himself after his home county. Signing with Double Shot Records, Wood had a hit single in the spring of 1967 with “The Oogum Boogum Song,” which reached number 19 on the R&B charts and number 34 pop. It was quickly followed by “Gimme Little Sign,” which climbed to number nine pop and matched its predecessor’s R&B position.
Joe BataanNo recording artist has more impeccable street credentials than Joe Bataan, the originator of the New York Latin soul style that paralleled Latin boogaloo and anticipated disco. His musical experience began with street corner doo wop in the 1950s, and came to include one of the first rap records to hit the charts, 1979’s “Rap-O, Clap-O.” In between these milestones, he recorded classic albums like Saint Latin’s Day Massacre, a perennial favorite in the salsa market, Salsoul, which gave the record label its name and helped spark the national explosion of urban dance music, and Afrofilipino, which included one of the very earliest New York disco hits, an instrumental version of Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Bottle.”
Thee Midniters were an American group, among the first Chicano rock bands to have a major hit in the United States. Also they were and one of the best known acts to come out of East Los Angeles in the 1960s, with a cover of “Land of a Thousand Dances”, and the instrumental track, “Whittier Boulevard” in 1965. They were among the first rock acts to openly sing about Chicano themes in songs such as “Chicano Power” and “The Ballad of César Chávez” in the late 1960s.
GQA Bronx group that effectively mixed East Coast disco and Chicago soul covers with originals during the late ’70s and early ’80s, GQ began as Sabu & the Survivors in 1968. Lead vocalist Emmanuel Rahiem LeBlanc, Keith Crier, Herb Lane, and Paul Service were original members. They had two Top Ten R&B and Top 20 pop hits, as well as a number one R&B single in 1979, with “Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)” also peaking at number 12 pop; the single also won GQ an American Music Award. Their remakes of the Billy Stewart classics “I Do Love You” and “Sitting in the Park” were number five and number nine R&B singles in 1979 and 1980, respectively, with “I Do Love You” also reaching number 20 pop. They enjoyed one other Top 30 R&B single in 1981, “Shake.” All their hits were on Arista from 1979 to 1982. The group briefly reconvened for A Tribute to Marvin Gaye and Billy Stewart, issued independently in 1999. Crier died in 2013.