Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Main Ingredient

Since we mentioned The Main Ingredient yesterday ... and their GREAT Track "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" ... we figured we'd feature that one today ... because, once again, here is yet ANOTHER Top Ten Hit that receives virtually NO oldies airplay anymore.

The Main Ingredient formed in Harlem, New York, as The Poets back in 1964. They first recorded for the Red Bird Record Label in the mid-'60's without any chart success. After a brief stint as The Insiders, they changed their name to The Main Ingredient in 1966 and signed with RCA Records. When founding member Donald McPherson died of leukemia in 1971, he was replaced by Cuba Gooding, father of popular film actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., who won an Academy Award for his role in "Jerry Maguire". (Of course, besides acclaimed roles in movies like "Boyz In The Hood", "A Few Good Men" and "Radio", Jr. ALSO made films like "Boat Trip", "The Fighting Temptations" and "Daddy Day Camp" ... and virtually ANYTHING else to help pay the rent!!!)

While it's Gooding's name that is most often associated with the group ... and deservedly so ... they never really made any kind of an impact on the charts until "Sr." took over the lead vocal duties ... the other founding members ... Luther Simmons and Tony Sylvester ... helped to define their overall sound. (You may not have known that Cuba, Sr. had sung uncredited backgrounds on a few earlier recordings for The Main Ingredient and even filled in on stage on occasion when McPherson first began experiencing health problems. He seemed to be the most likely candidate to join Simmons and Sylvester after McPherson's passing and when he assumed the lead vocalist role, things really began to take off for the trio.)

Their biggest hit, "Everybody Plays The Fool", topped The Pop Chart in Cash Box Magazine in 1972 ... and you still hear this one quite a bit on both the oldies and the soft rock stations ... but "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" has been ignored by radio for years. (Another Top 40 Pop Hit, "Happiness Is Just Around The Bend" went to #23 in 1974.)