In late 1972,
The Manhattans would sign a world wide recording contract with Columbia. For the first time, they were able to work on their own
production in the studio, collaborating with Gamble & Huff and veteran
producer-arranger-composer Bobby Martin at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound
Their Columbia debut came in April 1973, as Gerald sang lead on a song
written by Sonny titled “ There’s No Me Without You ” an RIAA gold
record and the title of their first Columbia LP that was released in
July. The album included the follow-up singles “You’d Better Believe It"
and Blue’s “Wish That You Were Mine”.
The Manhattans - 1973
In 1974, more hits followed with "Summer Time In The
City" (June) released in advance of their next album with Bobby Martin,
and "That’s How Much I love You" released in (September). The follow-up
single from the LP, “ Don’t Take Your Love From Me” (October) was the
first Manhattans single to reach the top 40 on the Pop charts.
In 1976: Blue’s “ Kiss And Say Goodbye “ (March) made history as the
second single ever to be certified RIAA Platinum under the 2
million-unit sales standard (Johnnie Taylor’s Disco Lady also under the
Columbia label was the first). The album split production between Bobby
Martin and Bert DeCoteaux and became The Manhattans first RIAA gold LP.
During the reign of “Kiss And Say Goodbye”, as the # 1 Pop and R&B
single, The Manhattans were also honored with an American Music Award
nomination. The album charted for months, and pushed the first Columbia
album to RIAA gold and found the Manhattans breaking ground in Europe
with a successful tour of England and several U.S. Armed Forces bases in
The Manhattans - 1975
In January of 1977, the Manhattans were selected to perform for then,
President Jimmy Carter, at the Presidential Inaugural Ball at the White
House. Their next LP was released in February entitled “It Feels So
Good”, named after the first single off of the album, “ It Feel So Good
To Be Loved So Bad”. This was followed in July by a song that was
co-written by Sonny and Gerald, “We Never Danced To A Love Song". Blue’s
“I Kind of Miss You” was actually released in October ’76 as an advance
single. That year, The Manhattans would become a quartet as original member
and baritone singer Richard Taylor, would leave to join the Muslim
faith. Nevertheless, their Broadway premiere went on just the same, as
they opened at the Winter Garden with Natalie Cole. They also did a pair
of original movie soundtracks "Moving" and "The Class of Mrs. McMichael".
In addition, that year they received NATRA’s “ Outstanding Group of The
Year “ along with the Commodores.
The Manhattans - 1977
“Am I Losing You” was released in January 1978 as an advance single off
of the next LP, "There’s No Good In Goodbye". This rather diverse LP
included the follow-up single, Billy Joel’s “Everybody has A Dream” (June)
as well as the Casinos classic, “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”. They also
did the big song from the hit musical Annie, ”Tomorrow”.
In 1979, “The Love Talk” LP and its first single, “Here Comes The Hurt
Again”, were both released in March. With disco at full-tilt, Blue’s
“New York City” turned up as an energetic dance tune (a departure from
the ballad format) as the B-side of the next single, which was the
Manhattans interpretation of a medley consisting of "The Way We Were" by
Barbara Streisand and "Memories" by the Temptations. The year climaxed
with a one-month tour of Europe, October-November.
End of Part 2