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Edward “Dwight” Fields of The Manhattans Dies

Another soul singer has ventured upward to join that heavenly soul choir on high. Our prayers are with Gerald Alston, Troy May, David Tyson, Justice Butler, Jeffrey Scotty Scott and the entire Manhattans family. Edward “Dwight” Fields of the Legendary R&B Group, The Manhattans will be missed by many who knew him and everyone who was graced by his bright smile and addictive presence.

I had the pleasure of knowing him for almost 25 years and any time I saw him, that welcoming smile of his was there. After the passing of Winfred “Blue” Lovett, Dwight emerged from being by Gerald’s side daily, managing the Manhattans attire and merchandise at events to being up front on stage as a singing member of The Manhattans. If you’ve ever seen him performing with the group, you knew who he was because for some reason that Gospel bug instilled in him from birth would always manage to make its way out during the show. Whether it was that gospel fervor or cutting an extra step or two on stage. Sometimes the fellas would look at him like “What the heck is wrong with him?” LOL. But that was Dwight and one thing for sure he went out doing what he loved to do and that was singing and the best part of it all is he got to do it with his cousin who he loved more than life itself, Gerald Alston. So Dwight, until we meet again on the other side, rest on my brother rest on. ~Maurice “The Voice” Watts

Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Viewing
Wednesday, August 31 2016
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Watson Funeral Home, 26 Gifford Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey

Celebration of Life Service for
Edward Dwight Fields
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Time: 12:00 noon
McGregor Hall, 225 Breckenridge Street, Henderson NC 27536
E C Terry’s Funeral Services & Cremation, 936 West Andrews Ave.
Henderson, NC 27536 Phone: (252) 492-5453

For more information visit www.geraldalstonmusic.com

Billy Paul, Dies at 80

CNN.com reports:
Billy Paul, the Grammy-winning soul singer of the 1970s hit “Me and Mrs. Jones,” has died, a statement on his official website said. He was 80.

Paul died at home Sunday after a “serious medical condition,” the statement read.
The song about an affair with the mysterious “Mrs. Jones” reached No. 1 and earned Paul the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1972.
The song — with Paul earnestly stuttering “Mrs., Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones” — was about an illicit romance with a woman at a cafe. Even though “we both know that it’s wrong,” he sang, they would see each other tomorrow at “the same place, the same time.”
The song’s sophisticated arrangement with lush strings was the signature sound of Philadelphia International Records, known as the Motown of the ’70s. It was the same label behind Teddy Pendergrass’ “Come Go With Me” and the O’Jays’ “Love Train.”

Pop Icon PRINCE, Dies at Age 57

AP News reports:
Prince, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ”Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57.

His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, told The Associated Press that the superstar “died at his home this morning at Paisley Park.” The local sheriff said deputies found Prince unresponsive in an elevator late Thursday morning after being summoned to his home, but that first-responders couldn’t revive him.

No details about what may have caused his death have been released. Prince postponed a concert in Atlanta on April 7, after falling ill with the flu, and he apologized to fans during a makeup concert last week.

President Barack Obama, for whom Prince was a White House guest last year, said he and his wife “joined millions of fans from around the world” in mourning Prince’s sudden death.

Kenneth Kelly of The Manhattans, Dies

SoulTracks.com reports:
In a year that has been filled with sad news for the millions of fans of the singing group The Manhattans, we have another piece: Kenneth “Wally” Kelly, the last surviving founding member of the group, has died. Kelly was there at the beginning of the iconic act and remained a member right through to the end of their hit making days in the late ’80s. His death follows the December passings of two other original members, Blue Lovett and Sonny Bivins. Now, only Gerald Alston, the wonderful singer who joined the group in the early 70s and sang lead on their biggest hits, remains from the most popular version of the Manhattans.

Winfred “Blue” Lovett of The Manhattans, Dies at 74

BLUE-RIP-Facebook-Cover-3
The world has lost another great Soul Legend and one of the baddest bass singers in the world; the incomparable Mr. Winfred “Blue” Lovett of the historical Grammy award winning R&B classic soul group, The Manhattans.

For over 50 years, Blue’s voice and incredible lyrics have embellished numerous musical tracks and his presence has graced stages around the world.  I personally will never forget August 13, 2009 when The Ultimate Persuaders invited me to help them pay homage to The Manhattans in Harlem, NY and I had the privilege of rendering Blue’s signature intro to “Kiss & Say Goodbye”. The highlight of that day was when I looked into Blue’s eyes as I sang his part and he erupted with laughter, shook my hand and said “You got it, you got it”.  What an honor.

His stage presence and unparalleled bass vocals will truly be missed in our daily lives but will live on forever within our hearts and souls through his music and some of the most beautiful lyrics ever penned by man. Rest on my Bass Brother……rest on. You student for life Maurice The Voice Watts

SoulTracks.com reports:
For a half century, Lovett’s songwriting and singing were integral parts of one of the most popular R&B groups in the world. His composition “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” introduced by his deep spoken word prologue, is still one of the most beloved soul songs ever. And while many fans knew of Lovett’s terrific vocal work, fewer knew of his impeccable songwriting instincts, often combining elements of love, loss and even infidelity into songs that moved the Manhattans to the A-List of vocal groups. Lovett’s death comes just a few days after the death of group co-founder Sonny Bivins, who maintained a version of the group in both good times and bad.

The Manhattans were formed in the early 60s in New Jersey as a quintet led by writer/bass vocalist Winfred “Blue” Lovett and emotive lead singer George Smith, along with Edward “Sonny” Bivins, Richard “Ricky” Taylor and Kenneth “Wally” Kelly, all of whom had just returned from service in the armed forces. The group was popular regionally and had minor national success on the strength of some solid recordings for Carnival Records (their version of the country tune “From Atlanta to Goodbye” was a gem) in the late 60s before gaining the attention of Columbia Records in 1970. Unfortunately, their Columbia signing coincided with the sudden illness of amazingly talented lead singer Smith. During a tour through North Carolina, the Manhattans came upon a college student with an amazing Sam Cooke-like voice. Recognizing the incredible talent of this 21 year old, the group invited Gerald Alston to join, and he became the lead singer who would bring stardom to the quintet, with the blessing of Smith, who sadly died just a few months later

Bobby Rogers of The Miracles, Dies at 73

DETROIT (Reuters) – Singer Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the hit-making Motown group the Miracles along with Smokey Robinson, died on Sunday in suburban Detroit after a lengthy illness, family members and associates said. He was 73.

Rogers was a tenor in the original Motown lineup of the group that also included Robinson as the lead singer, bass vocalist Warren “Pete” Moore, baritone Ronnie White and the quintet’s lone female vocalist, Claudette Rogers.

Claudette Rogers, who became Claudette Robinson after marrying the group’s star in 1963 and left the group a year later, was Bobby Rogers’ first cousin. She and Smokey Robinson later divorced.

“My cousin, Robert ‘Bobby’ Rogers, who was like a brother to me, lost his battle and succumbed,” she said in a statement issued through the Detroit-based Motown Alumni Association.

“He had a sparkling personality that was loved by everyone,” she told the Detroit Free Press newspaper. “People always commented on the tall one with the glasses.”

Smokey Robinson, born hours apart from Rogers in the same Detroit hospital on February 19, 1940, saluted his former compatriot in his own statement, saying: “Another soldier in my life has fallen.”

“Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend,” he said. “I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.”

Billy Wilson, president of the Motown Alumni Association, said Rogers died at his home in Southfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

The Miracles grew out of an earlier quintet of high school performers called the Five Chimes that formed in the mid-1950s and changed its name to the Matadors after several roster changes capped by Claudette Rogers’ admission to the group.

Introduced to Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., the group changed its name to the Miracles and became one of the first acts signed to his Tamla Records imprint and went on to record Motown’s first million-selling hit single, “Shop Around.”

The group, which later changed its name again to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, ultimately released 30 singles that charted in the Top 40, including such Motown classics as “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Tears of a Clown” and “Tracks of My Tears.”

One of Rogers’ most notable vocal contributions with the group was his two-part harmony with Robinson on “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” which was later covered by the Beatles. Rogers’ voice also is heard in the background of the Marvin Gaye track “What’s Going On,” uttering the phrase: “It’s just a groovy party, man, I can dig it.”

He shared songwriting credits with Robinson on a number of songs recorded by the Miracles, such as “Going to a Go-Go,” and other groups, including the Temptations hit “The Way You Do the Things You Do” and “First I Look at the Purse” by the Contours.

Rogers was inducted with other members of the Miracles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, about 25 years after the controversial solo induction of Robinson.

Miracles vocalist Ronnie White died in 1995.

(Additional reporting by Patricia Reaney in New York; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Eric Beech)

The Temptations Richard Street Dies

Richard Street was the one who was there when others couldn’t, wouldn’t or just didn’t. He is and always will be a true Temptation. We are saddened to hear of the passing of another legendary member of the world’s greatest group to ever grace this planet earth, “The Temptations”. His voice and that radiant smile will always be with us until we see him and the other members together on the “Big Stage” in heaven. Many of us have waited and wished for Otis to put them all back together again, but God waits on no one. He’s already preparing each of them one at a time for the performance of their lifetime. One day all of their fans like myself will get our wish and see them all together again on the same stage and singing those “Heavenly” Temptations songs we love and that only they can sing. Rest In Peace Richard, it was great knowing you among the living but it will be even better seeing you on the other side.

Final update for Richard Street’s Memorial Celebration. Viewing and tributes will be held on Thursday March 14 and Friday March 15 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park – (4471 Lincoln Ave. Cypress, California 800-204-3131) from 5pm – 9pm each day. There will be musical tributes and special guests attending. Richard Street will be laid to rest on Saturday March 16 at the same location (Forest Lawn Memorial Park). Doors open Saturday at 1:30pm, service will be from 2pm-3:30pm. An After Reception Celebration will take place from 4:30 – until.. at The Royal Garden Restaurant (11828 South St., Cerritos, CA 90703 562-809-1812). There will be music, special guests and tributes also at that time.

Damon Harris of The Temptations, Dies at 62

(Reuters) – Otis “Damon” Harris, a former member of The Temptations who sang on the group’s 1972 hit “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” has died at the age 62, the Baltimore Sun reported on Friday.
Otis Harris

Harris, a native of Baltimore, auditioned to join the Temptations in 1971 at the age of 21 after the departure of Eddie Kendricks, one of the original lead singers of the group.
Harris died at the Joseph Richey Hospice on Monday after fighting prostate cancer for 14 years, according to the Sun.

As a teenager, Harris grew up admiring the Temptations, one of the top male singing groups of the 1960s and early 1970s, and formed a band with three high school friends named the Young Tempts that sang Temptations cover songs.

Harris sang with the Temptations until 1975, helping the group win three Grammy awards and lending his voice to hits including “Take a Look Around” and “Masterpiece.”

Blue Magic At The Beacon Theater In NYC

Legendary Vernon Sawyer of Blue Magic (original member of Blue Magic) Showed at the Beacon in New York for the 70’s Soul Jam that he can still get down and do his thing.