Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Main Ingredient


In 1964, there was a trio of musicians who called themselves the Poets. The Harlem-based musicians involved were lead singer Donald McPherson, Luther Simmons, Jr., and Panama-born Tony Silvester.  They did a few recordings with a small label, and changed the name of their group to the Insiders and signed on with RCA Records.  In 1968, after doing a few singles, they changed their name again. This time their name was inspired by a Coca-Cola bottle. They called themselves Main Ingredient. The name stuck


The Main Ingredient Original Members
The trio teamed up with a new producer, who helped them break through the R&B charts in 1970 and 1971.  But in 1971, their lead singer, Donald McPherson, became ill with leukemia, and passed away suddenly.

The remaining pair teamed up with Cuba Gooding, Sr. He had done a few back up vocals for them previously, and had also filled in on tour while McPherson was too ill to travel.

Their first album as a new trio produced their biggest hit. ‘Everybody Plays The Fool’. It reached number two on the R&B charts, and number three on the pop charts. The album itself reached number ten on the R&B charts.  Their next album featured songs that were either written or co-written by Stevie Wonder, but it did not produce any huge successes on the singles charts.

1974 they found success again with "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely". In 1975, the group recorded several songs co-written by Leon Ware, including the R&B Top Ten "Rolling Down a Mountainside". By this point, however, Tony Silvester was harboring other ambitions; he released a solo album called Magic Touch that year, and left the group

Silvester was replaced by Carl Tompkins, and Gooding departed for a solo career on Motown in 1977, which produced two albums; Simmons, meanwhile, left the music industry to work as a stockbroker. Gooding, Silvester and Simmons reunited as the Main Ingredient in 1979, and recorded two more albums, 1980's Ready for Love and 1981's I Only Have Eyes for You (the latter featured a minor hit in "Evening of Love"). The trio reunited for a second time in 1986, but their Zakia single "Do Me Right" flopped, and Simmons returned to his day job. He was replaced by Jerome Jackson on the 1989 Polydor album I Just Wanna Love You. In the wake of Aaron Neville's Top Ten revival of "Everybody Plays the Fool", Gooding resumed his solo career and issued his third album in 1993. Silvester and Simmons re-formed the Main Ingredient in 1999 with new lead singer Carlton Blount; this line-up recorded Pure Magic in 2001.

Tony Silvester died after a six-year struggle with multiple myeloma on November 27, 2006, at the age of 65, and original member Luther Simmons retired shortly thereafter. Cuba Gooding Sr. was found dead in his car on April 20, 2017. The current line-up of the group consists of Jerome Jackson, and Stanley Alston.

Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely




Rolling Down a Mountainside





Happiness Is Just Around the Bend




Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling in Love)




Everybody Plays the Fool




If you’d like, you can listen to these and more of their tunes with this playlist.








24 comments:

  1. So much talent surrounded by such tragedy. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. That seems to happen quite a bit. Thanks for dropping by!

      ~Mary

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  2. This is so interesting. I love learning the history and background behind great music.

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    1. Thsnks Mrs Tee!

      I tend to agree with you. I love the little bits of trivia.

      ~Mary

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  3. Everybody Plays the Fool is on the mixed CD in my Cruze right now. 😉
    Barbara @ Caneyhead

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    1. It's a great song. I've listened to it many times this past week.

      ~Mary

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  4. Amazing how those groups just keep going on and on despite all the original members being gone, isn't it?

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    1. It really is. I just read something the other day about J Geils Band continuing on under the same name - seems there has been an ongoing dispute in recent years with J Geils and the band. I was going to write about them, but I think I need to do more research first.

      ~Mary

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  5. I love music history. It's always a pleasure to find out information on bands. It's never a straight line to success. The journey is as important as the destination :)

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    1. I love the trivia and stories as well. I learn something new every time.

      ~Mary

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  6. We have lost so many legends between this year and the last. It is so hard to listen to the songs now. Trudy 6x

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    1. The good thing is that music is timeless. Yes, we have lost many legends, but their music lives on. We should celebrate them. That's what they would want us to do.

      ~Mary

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  7. a music history blog wow, must come back for more. interesting write up

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    1. You should definitely keep coming back. We have a lot of fun here.

      ~Mary

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  8. How very interesting! The music industry is filled with so many stories we often never hear because we are listening to the music, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Cathleen!

      It's a fun learning experience for everyone, for sure!

      ~Mary

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  9. at least they lived past the age of 27...thanks for the great history lesson!!

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    1. This is true! You're welcome :) If there is any group or artist you think I should write about, feel free to let me know.. I'm always open to suggestions.

      ~Mary

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  10. I love music history! It holds so many interesting and untold stories.. You are doing a great job by revealing them to us!! Keep them coming. :)

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    1. Thank you Ankita! I will definitely keep the stories coming :)

      ~Mary

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  11. This is so interesting. So many stories which we don't know. Music is loved by everyone but often we aren't aware of the stories behind the music. Thanks for sharing them

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  12. I love reading about music history. *sigh* they don't make music like they use too..

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    1. Anna

      No, they don't make them like they used to. But I think every generation says that. Thanks for dropping in!

      ~Mary

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