Bringing together a classic lineup of R&B, soul and romantic hit-makers, this is more than a concert, it’s an event!! The Soul Jam includes performances by…The Stylistics, The Dramatics, The Chi-Lites, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, The Main Ingredient Featuring Cuba Gooding, Sr., New Birth, The Emotions, Blue Magic, Ray Goodman & Brown, The Three Degrees, The Manhattans, Peaches & Herb, Heatwave, and Bloodstone.
The leading Philly soul group in the early ‘70s, this enduring band enjoyed twelve straight Top 10 hits from 1971-1974, including You Are Everything, Betcha by Golly, Wow, I’m Stone in Love With You, Break Up to Make Up,and You Make Me Feel Brand New. The act is a favorite for their showmanship, harmony and style.
The Dramatics have been one of the most prolific, consistently entertaining groups of the last three decades. Another of the great non-Motown Detroit groups formed in the late 60s, the Dramatics went through significant personnel changes over their early years as the group struggled to find a hit. They ultimately found it on Stax/Volt Records with “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” a latin-tinged cut lyrically based on a comic phrase popularized by Flip Wilson. It was an instant hit on both the pop and soul charts, and began a string of great cuts for the group penned by Tony Hester. The follow-ups “In The Rain” and “Toast to the Fool” were even better, and have remained in active play on many stations for nearly 30 years.
One of the early 1970s most popular smooth soul groups didn’t hail from Philly or Memphis. Instead, the Chi-Lites were from Chicago, a city better known for its gritty urban blues and driving R&B. During the early ‘70s, they landed 11 Top Ten R&B singles, ranging from the romantic ballads like “Have You Seen Her” and “Oh Girl” to protest-themed songs like ’s Sake) Give More Power to the People” and “There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated at the Conference Table).”
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
The group scored on two smash ballads in 1972, “I Miss You” (later covered by David Ruffin) and the now classic “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (later taken to #1 by Simply Red). By 1975’s “Wake Up Everybody” and “Bad Luck,” Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes were Soul Music royalty, on par with the O’Jays and the Stylistics.
The Main Ingredient ft. Cuba Gooding, Sr
Signing with RCA Records in 1970 and working with talented producer Bert DeCoteaux, the group began a string of moderate soul hits, the best of which was the sensitive ballad “Spinning Around.” Cuba Gooding, Sr. is perhaps best known for his impassioned lead vocals for The Main Ingredient during their prime hit-making years, when the group released 1972’s classic “Everybody Plays the Fool” followed by many other fine singles in the early 70s including “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely.”
New Birth (originally The Nite-Liters) is an American funk and R&B band formed in Detroit, Michigan by former Motown songwriters and producers Vernon Bullock and Harvey Fuqua and music industry veteran Tony Churchill. The group is most notable for the hits “I Can Understand It”, “It’s Been a Long Time”, “Wildflower” and “Dream Merchant,” featuring brothers Melvin and Leslie Wilson.
This Chicago-based trio of sisters with a strong gospel base, was one of the leading female R&B acts of the ’70s. Lead singer Sheila Hutchinson and her sisters Wanda and Jeanette were only teenagers when they crashed the soul charts in 1969 with the engaging “So I Can Love You” but they sang gospel as children and enjoyed secular fame locally before signing with Memphis-based Volt and working with producers Isaac Hayes and David Porter. In 1975, the group hooked up with Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, an association that led to the number one pop/R&B hit “Best of My Love” in 1977. Two years after Best of My Love, Maurice White and the Emotions collaborated on “Boogie Wonderland” which was both a #2 R&B and #6 pop hit.
R&B vocal quintet,Blue Magic was formed in Philadelphia and signed to Atlantic Records in 1973. They hit the Top 40 of the R&B singles chart with their first three 45s before breaking through and crossing over with “Sideshow” released in April 1974. The song went gold, topped the R&B charts, and became a Top Ten pop hit. Their next single, “Three Ring Circus” made the R&B Top Ten and the pop Top 40. Over the next 3 years Blue Magic became known mostly for their smooth ballads, and the group stayed high on the Soul charts with “Stop to Start” and “Chasing Rainbows” before landing a big hit with the dance tune “Magic of the Blue.”
Ray Goodman & Brown
Part of the generation of soul music groups that arose in the late 60s and early 70s, the combination of Harry Ray, Al Goodman and Billy Brown became most notable as perhaps the greatest live performing group of that elite bunch. While many groups of that era had more successful recording careers, few have equaled the stage presence and consistent crowd pleasing shows of RG&B. The group’s success came with hits including “Love on a Two-Way Street,” and “Sexy Mama.”
Few in 1963 would have expected that three talented teenage girls from Philadelphia would come together to form the origin of a group that would continue into the next century, but that was the beginning of the Three Degrees, an act that, through more than 40 years and multiple lineups, has become one of the most internationally popular and long lasting Soul groups in history. The vocal group was most well known for their hits “TSOP,” and “When Will I see You Again.”
Jersey City natives The Manhattans sold millions of records over four decades. Honors include winning NAFTA’s “Most Promising Group” in 1969. In the late 70’s recorded and released the songs they are are still best known for — “Kiss and Say Goodbye” and “Shining Star”. Through the years, the group has persevered through numerous management and personnel changes to continue performing and recording.
Peaches & Herb
In the mid-Sixties Peaches & Herb were “The Sweethearts Of Soul,” chart-bound contemporaries of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell and many other blessed musical pairings. By the mid-Seventies, the duo had reinvented itself; one moment disco darlings, the next heart-and-soul honeys, with songs such as “Reunited,” and “Shake Your Groove Thing.”
Though their time in the spotlight was relatively short, Heatwave remains one of the most beloved groups of the 70s. They became most well-known for their hits, “Always & Forever,” and “Groove Line.” That they even made it as far and as long as they did was the result of an amazing ability to overcome even the most horrific obstacles, including the death of one member and two incidents that left other members paralyzed or severely injured. Keith Wilder re-formed Heatwave with some old and some new members in the early 90s, and the group has toured regularly, also recording a 1997 disc, Live and the Greek Theater, a mostly live rehashing of their hits but which also included a couple decent new studio tracks. Heatwave, in various compositions (but always with Keith Wilder up front), continues to appear, summer after summer, in multi-act disco shows with such artists as the Village People, Gloria Gaynor and KC and the Sunshine band.
Bloodstone was formed in 1962 as a high school doo-wop group then called the Sinceres. Their popularity stemmed from numerous charted songs in the 70’s including “Natural High,” and “How does it feel.” The members had renamed themselves Bloodstone, and after learning to play their respective musical instruments, moved to Los Angeles, California. The group continued to record into the mid-1980s. Bloodstone also starred in and wrote all the music for a film entitled Train Ride To Hollywood (1975).