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The harmonic convergence known as The Main Ingredient that pumped out such still-played ’70s hits as “Everybody Plays The Fool,” “Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling In Love),” “I’m So Proud,” “You’ve Been My Inspiration,” “Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely,” and “Happiness Is Just Around The Bend” still tours and belts out the classic sounds for audiences that crave true harmony, beautiful melodies, and lyrics they can relate to.
The Main Ingredient has toured the world extensively, and has shared the marquee with the very best names in the music business. The group was formed in Harlem New York in 1964 by Tony Silvester, Luther Simmons and Donald McPherson and was the first African American group signed under the new R&B division of RCA records.
With the untimely death of McPherson in 1971, the group found itself undergoing a transformation and enlisted as the new lead singer, neighborhood cohort, Cuba Gooding who had served as a backing vocalist for the group during McPherson’s reign and had filled in on tour during his illness.
The Gooding era began auspiciously enough with the million-selling smash “Everybody Plays the Fool,” which hit number two R&B and number three pop to become the group’s biggest hit ever. The accompanying album, aptly titledBitter Sweet, became their first to hit the Top Ten on the R&B charts; its follow-up, 1973’s Afrodisiac, featured several songs written or co-written by Stevie Wonder. They returned to the R&B Top Ten in 1974 with “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely,” which sold over a million copies and also reached the pop Top Ten, and the disco-flavored “Happiness Is Just Around the Bend.” In 1975, the group recorded several songs co-written by Leon Ware, including the R&B Top Ten “Rolling Down a Mountainside.”
With the passing of McPherson and Silvester, and the retirement of Simmons, Cuba Gooding continues to keep the group current and is backed up by the vocals of Larry Moore and Jerome Jackson. Jerome replaces 15 year veteran of the group, George Staley Sr., who recently retired.
With over 40 years under his belt as an entertainer, lead vocalist Cuba Gooding continues to thrill audiences around the world with his smooth, unique and captivating voice, all the while remaining a solid part of the musical consciousness of fans both old (The Main Ingredient) and new (as the proud dad of Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and Image Award nominated actor Omar Gooding). Gooding’s vocals are sampled by five-time Grammy Award winning Alicia Keys, on her smash single, “You Don’t Know My Name,” which, early in 2004, held the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-hop Singles & Tracks chart for nine straight weeks. Having achieved chart-topping singles with The Main Ingredient, Cuba Gooding continues his rich musical legacy by pairing up with his son Omar Gooding to produce a rap infused old school groove on the project 2 Good, while simultaneously working on his own current project Rebirth.
Currently, Cuba Gooding can be seen starring in the Time Life infomercial entitled “Sweet Soul of the 70s” as well as making frequent appearances on QVC for the same. He is also promoting concerts across the country under his banner of “Cuba Gooding presents Sweet Soul of the 70s” featuring like Artists from the 1970s.
Most recently, Cuba was named the official Ambassador of Goodwill to Rosarito Beach in Baja, California Mexico.
“As long as we are able, we will continue to give the fans what they crave”, says Gooding. The Main Ingredient chants it’s mantra at concerts all over the world, “old school will never die” and it certainly seems to be true.
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