The Manhattans

The Manhattans are an R&B vocal group best known for their 1976 Number 1 single “Kiss and Say Goodbye”, their 1980 Top 5 hit “Shining Star”, and many more hits that landed somewhere between the Top 50 and Top 100 on the Billboard charts. The Manhattans recorded legacy includes 20 studio albums, numerous compilations, and 45 chart-placing singles. They formed in Jersey City in 1962. Their line-up changed frequently over the years but their most notable members include Gerald Alston, Winfred ‘Blue’ Lovett, and Edward ‘Sonny’ Bivens. Signed to Carnival Records in 1964, The Manhattans issued a handful of singles before releasing their debut album, Dedicated to You, in 1966, which reached Number 19 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart. They continued to release albums in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s but didn’t achieve a hint of commercial success until their 1973 Columbia Records album There’s No Me Without You. This release matched their debut album’s Number 19 placing on the Top R&B Albums chart. By 1976, they scored their first Number One single with “Kiss and Say Goodbye”, taken from their self-titled album. The Manhattans reached Number 16 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, eventually going Gold. The follow-up album, It Feels So Good, also achieved Gold status. It took another three years before achieving massive chart success again with the Top 5 single, “Shining Star” and the hit album After Midnight (Number 4 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart). The Manhattans continued to record albums for Columbia Records throughout the 1980s but failed to match the success of previous albums and singles. The band’s line-up continued to fluctuate over the next two decades, eventually splitting into two different camps – one set of Manhattans led by Bivins and one set led by Lovett and Alston. Over the years, original band members passed away, leaving Alston the last remaining performing member of the group’s hitmaking ‘70s and early ‘80s line-up.

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