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The History

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Part 3

12/15/07

 

Part 3

The year is now 1980. The Manhattans climactic landmark year began with “ Shining Star” and the After Midnight LP in March. The Radio City ‘ Home coming’ on July 24th was an appropriate follow-up to the RIAA gold for the single and LP. Their performance at the CBS Records Convention in Miami on August 28th of that year was another honor, as was their acceptance (shared with Universal Studios) of the $1,000 Ampex Gold Reel Award, which they in turn presented to the United Negro College Fund in San Antonio. More history took place at lunchtime on Monday September 29th, as Michelob beer and the New York Music Task Force opened ‘ New York Music Week’ with a concert at Citi-Corp Plaza, broadcast live on WABC radio. This was the first live broadcast on the station since the Beatles! (WABC had chosen ‘ Kiss and Say Goodbye’ as the #1 Record of The Year’ back in 1976)

The Manhattans - 1980

Another historic performance took place October 11th at the Mall in Albany NY, in front of Governor Hugh Carey and some 92,000 spectators. The show also featured Helen Reddy, Leonard Bernstein, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The New York State Cultural Affairs Commission promptly asked The Manhattans back for future performances. In addition, there were special appearances in Canada, Bermuda and the Bahamas toward year’s end. They also traveled to South America for the first time, highlighted by a show on Chilean Television.

November 1980 brought the LP ‘Manhattans Greatest Hits’ which the Manhattans deserved at the end of such a productive and important year. Underscoring the LP release was an exhaustive 16-page special section devoted to the Manhattans in the November 22nd issue of Cashbox Magazine. "For 1981, it’s onward and upward" the Magazine summed up in the introductory article.

In 1981, they rode the charts into the New Year with the "After Midnight" and the "Greatest Hits" albums. On February 25th, the whole world found out just how great a year they’d had when "Shining Star" captured the Grammy as “ Best R&B Vocal performance by a Group” at the 23rd Annual presentation, live from Radio City Music Hall. March found them in Japan for the first time. They had two weeks of concerts centering around the Tokyo Music Festival. At the Festival (one month to the day after the Grammy's), their performance of their newest single, "I’ll Never Find Another ( Find Another like You)", won them The Silver Prize. They danced away with the ‘Best Choreography’ award. Five nights later they played to a sold-out SRO audience at the Ultra- Swanky $125-a Head Latin Quarter nightclub in Tokyo, an appropriate prelude to their "Black Tie!" album. The Album’s release in July, coupled with the success of "Just One Moment Away", along with a series of Kool Jazz Festivals dates with Aretha Franklin and Flip Wilson, kept The Manhattans' star shining brightly well through 1981.

The Manhattans - 1982

In 1983, The Manhattans signed a new management agreement with Gerald Delet, President of World Wide productions (Formerly TWM Management services). Their roster included Kool & The Gang, also Lincoln High graduates from Jersey City. Also that year, there was a rigorous tour of Military bases during February-March that took the Manhattans to Italy, England, Germany, Alaska, Korea, and Hawaii. During the tour they were presented with a plaque that thanked them for bringing their music to overseas fans, and honored that sound and their longevity in the business. The late spring saw the release of ’Crazy’ as the prelude to the ‘Forever By Your Side’ LP (July), the 10th LP Under Columbia Records.

By 1984, work was already in full swing in New York with Producer Morris Brown on the next LP, when the Manhattans took a break for a major tour (March- August) with Gladys Knight and the Pips. One could not imagine more of a tribute to the great choreographer Cholly Atkins than to see these two great groups going through his steps night after night. LP session were interrupted again during the summer for The Manhattans Annual world tour, this time taking them as far as Korea, Guam, and Tokyo, then over to Europe and England for the royal treatment.


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