Angelladywriter has featured a variety of artists during her television and writing career. She is a graduate from Widener University.
Blue Lovett, of The Manhattans Has Died and "We Will Miss You"
With profound sadness, we will miss the mighty base voice of Blue Lovett as well as Sonny Bivens and #Kenneth Kelly, all original members of the incomparable singing group, #The Manhattans. We continue to miss all these multi-talented men who captured the hearts of millions for decades to come through their powerful voices. Music lovers all over the world were enthralled with their primo voices that became the epitome of classic R&B. Blue, was a maestro composer of such powerful words as "It's gonna hurt me, I can't lie. Understand me, won't you try. Let's just kiss and say goodbye." Although we must say goodbye to Blue, Kenny and Sonny's, physical presence, their impeccable voices will linger on through the outstanding music and legacy of The Manhattans. Recently, Blue and Kenny photos appeared on #Unsung as people who have passed in the music industry that we will miss.
Blue Lovett, Was Honored and Loved by Many
The Manhattans, demonstrated their prolific love and appreciation for #Blue Lovett, during a tribute to this powerful, beloved performer. Yes, the show did go on after the ceremony. The Manhattans performed such significant hits as #Kiss and Say Goodbye, Shining Star and When We're Made As One. Gerald Alston expressed what the evening meant to him by stating, "It is the celebration of a group member that is a legend and mentor for fifty-three years. He is like a father to me. I have been with Blue, for forty-four years. The first song I performed with him was, There's No Me Without You because it speaks for itself. It reminds me of our fans. They made us who we are. I am thankful that God has given us fifty-three years. I would like to thank Blue, for being a part of my life and I do love him." Gerald, also genuinely expressed appreciation for his numerous performances with Blue over the years. This duo has contributed an insurmountable source of talent to the music industry over the years. We would like to thank Blue, Gerald, Tyson, and Troy, as well as previous members such as Kenny Kelly, Sonny Bivins, the late George Smith and Richard Taylor. Your fans will never forget the significant contribution of beautiful love songs over the years.
The Manhattan's Early History
The Manhattans, are a resplendent group of men that have captivated the hearts of listeners. They won a well deserved Grammy Award, for their significant hit Shining Star and numerous gold albums for It Feels So Good, The Manhattans and After Midnight. This talented group originated from high schools in Jersey City, New Jersey, during the year of 1962. After serving in the military, group members Smitty, Sonny, Blue, Kenny, and Ricky, reunited and became The Manhattans. During their tours within the college circuit, they discovered Gerald Alston, a pre-med student who declined Blue's offer to join the group at first but later decided to. Their biggest and most popular song to date is Kiss and Say Goodbye, their second single to go platinum. Blue Lovett and Gerald Alston, both left The Manhattans, for a few years but returned to reignite this formidable mass of creativity.
#The Manhattans Today
The Manhattans are currently a quartet, featuring Gerald Alston, Blue Lovett, David Tyson and Troy May. A compelling documentary was shown recently on the popular television series, Unsung. This widely popular program gave an impressive perspective of The Manhattans' fantastic life story.
Other vital members of The Manhattans, introduced by Blue Lovett, include Troy May, who has a love for music and the arts. Based on an article in Wikipedia, Troy attended school with such talented individuals as "Kadeem Hardison (#A Different World), Malek Yoba (New York Undercover), Lisa Lisa (Cult Jam) among others." Troy has been with The Manhattans for twenty years. He explained that the honorary ceremony for Blue was, "bittersweet." Troy acknowledged that because of Blue, he had experienced the opportunity to travel all over the world to such places as South Africa, which he enjoyed visiting. Toward the end of the interview, Troy explained, "I am looking forward to tonight."
David Tyson is also a current member who grew up with music. The Wikipedia article expressed that, "His brother Ron Tyson, of The Temptations, always had groups singing in the basement of his mother's home when he was a child. He discovered his love of music as a child by watching and listening to his brother's group at The Uptown Theater in Philadelphia." One day Tyson received a call that Blue Lovett wanted a tenor for The Manhattans. "... world renown Cholly Atkins connected him with Blue Lovett for an audition. Blue liked his audition, and he was hired." Lovett, Alston, May, and Tyson continue to carry out this legacy of excellent music.
The current band members are Justice Butler, on Drums, Howie Robbins, Keyboards, Jason Simons, Bass Guitar, Mark Bowers, Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Andre DeBourg, Production Manager of Sound, Tom Selsey, Stage Manager and Dwight Fields, Mr. Everything. Over the years, these individuals have contributed to the robust sounds and functioning of The Manhattans, by presenting outstanding background music, excellent sound technology, different attire, and management.
Another vital segment for the success of The Manhattans is organizers of Social Media. Nancy Gaskins, Pam Jones and LaTonya Maiden, serve as "The Manhattanettes." They maintain the continuous presence on social media for this group. Nancy, explained, "I love the quality of their music." She went on to talk about some of her favorite songs such as, Hurt and Men Cry Too. "After that, I was sold out. I could understand what love was and what love wasn't." Nancy, along with the social media crew, had September 13th, established as Manhattan Day, for Alexandria, Virginia, based on a proclamation from local political leaders. Blue, was presented with this proclamation and was emotionally moved as he stated, "These have been some wonderful years. Thank you for buying our records. We would be nothing without you, the fans." Blue Lovett's family, gathered on the stage during the ceremony to express their love and appreciation for him as well. Blue's wife Anna, along with their children, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild, presented Blue, with a cake that said, "You Are Our Shining Star." He thanked everyone for their gifts, proclamation and love. But now, it was time to get back to work as he asked family and friends to leave the stage so that the "show could go on.
Immediately, this impelling group went right into a doo-wop, that included Kenny Kelly. They performed their hit When We're Made As One. They were once again The Manhattans that I remembered. Gerald Alston, with his explosive voice that harmoniously blended with Blue's, base of perfection, along with Tyson and Troy. Transcended into that teenage girl, who was a lover of beautiful love songs that expressed what I was experiencing in my life. The Manhattans, along with their band, still had it. It was as though they had not missed a step. Each member of the group may have grayed a little externally, but their musical talents did not miss a beat. Their voices and music resonated throughout Birchmere Music Hall. For more than fifty years, The Manhattans, have proven that their music will embrace generations to come. Their music still mingles perfectly with the music of today. Like their fans, we must continue to transcend with them in pursuit of outstanding music.
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Claudette Coleman Carter (author) from Media, Pennsylvania on March 30, 2020:
I still enjoy hearing the beautiful voices on the various radio stations of Blue, Kenny and Sony that are all now deceased. Gerald Alston is still the only survivor of the original group of The Manhattans. He remains to be one of the most powerful male voices today as he continues to perform their hits such as ”Kiss and Say Goodbye and Shining Star.” l will always remember these men that l got to know as multi-talented individuals. Thanks again for the unforgettable music.