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The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston with special guest The Delfonics
Jan 14, 2024 • Knight Theater
Pricing:Starting at $47.50
Jazz N Soul Music presents GRAMMY Award winning legends The Manhattans, featuring Gerald Alston with special guests William Hart’s Delfonics, Sunday January 14th, MLK Weekend, at the exquisite Knight Theater in Uptown Charlotte!
Get ready for an evening of timeless soul ballads from The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston along with the Delfonics performing their '70s classic hits, all for you!
The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston
The Manhattans were one of those classic R&B vocal groups who managed 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. As any R&B enthusiast will attest, the name Gerald Alston has always been synonymous with soul, elegance, and sophistication. The one voice you never get tired of. Alston inherited some big shoes and has filled them admirably for over 17 years. Born in Henderson, North Carolina, Gerald Alston, the son of Rev. J.B. Alston and the nephew of gospel great Johnny Fields of the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, learned his trade in church.
As a teen he formed Gerald Alston & the New Imperials. During a local appearance, Alston met The Manhattans when they borrowed equipment from Alston’s band. When The Manhattans heard Gerald rehearsing, they loved what they heard and asked the 17-year-old to join the group.
Alston took over as their lead singer in 1970. The group enjoyed enormous success in the '70s and '80s with songs such as: “There’s No Me Without You,” “Wish That You Were Mine,” “Hurt,” “We Never Danced To A Love Song,” “Don’t Take Your Love From Me,” “I Kinda Miss You,” and “It Feels So Good To be Loved So Bad.” Their 1976 single “Kiss and Say Goodbye” was both a number one R&B and pop hit. The Manhattans won a GRAMMY in 1980 for the big hit “Shining Star.”
Gerald’s debut album as a solo artist with Motown Records was entitled Gerald Alston followed by Open Invitation in 1990. His third album in 1992, Always In The Mood, was a blend of classic R&B songs with ’90s music and nuances. In 1993, Gerald signed with Scotti Brothers/Street Life Records and recorded his debut album entitled First Class Only, which Alston believes is one of the best albums he has recorded. In the same year, Gerald reunited with Blue Lovett and The Manhattans for a 30th year reunion performance. The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett enjoyed new found success, performing nationally and around the world. Alston is looking forward to a continued singing career and bringing joy, happiness, and heartfelt soul to his many fans around the world.
The Delfonics were one of the first groups to sing in the sleek, soulful style that became known as the "Philadelphia sound." A vocal trio made up of brothers William and Wilbert Hart and high school friend Randy Cain, The Delfonics' roots go back to doo wop singing at school dances in the early '60s. While their early records brought them little if any notice, it did bring them to the attention of producer/arranger Thom Bell, who signed the band to his soon-to-be influential soul label Philly Groove. Right from the start, this was a perfect match as the band released the classic "La La Means I Love You" in 1968, a song that set off a string of hits lasting into the mid-'70s, including heir most notable hits "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," "Break Your Promise," "I'm Sorry," and "Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide from Love)."
The sound that Bell created for The Delfonics was the antithesis of the soul sound that came from Stax in Memphis and Muscle Shoals in Alabama. He sandpapered away the grit, lightened up on the backbeat, brought in string sections, and created a smooth, airy sound. Critics enamored of the soul singing of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding accused Bell and his groups of creating aural wallpaper, but the reality was that Bell and The Delfonics were setting the stage for a different kind of groove where subtlety and nuance reigned.
The band played a significant musical role in Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown. Tarantino, a '70s pop culture obsessive, used "La La Means I Love You" and their best single, "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," as a way of underscoring the relationship between actors Pam Grier and Robert Forster.
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