As part of Savannah State University’s (SSU) 2009 Homecoming celebration, the legendary Manhattans – featuring Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett – will perform on Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. in Tiger Arena on the SSU campus. Tickets are $25 per person and proceeds benefit the academic scholarship program.
In business for 45 years now, the original Manhattans included Winfred “Blue” Lovett, Richard Taylor, Kenny Kelley, George “Smitty” Smith and Sonny Bivins. In addition to being one of the lead vocalists, Blue was also the group leader and an outstanding songwriter whose compositions with producer Joe Evans gave the group a string of hits on Carnival Records during the mid 1960s. In 1970, Gerald Alston joined the group and took over as lead singer. More of a pop singer, Alston’s incorporation into the group enabled The Manhattans to shed the “doo-wop” image and achieve major national success on Starday/King Records with a Teddy Randazzo love song entitled A Million To One. In 1972, Lovett’s One Life To Live reached the top 20 R&B charts.
The Manhattans moved to Columbia Records in 1973 where they collaborated with producer Bobby Martin on a string of hit ballads including: There’s No Me Without You, We Never Danced To A Love Song and Hurt. The most notable of these ballads was Lovett’s Kiss And Say Goodbye, a platinum selling #1 pop and R&B hit in 1976.
The quartet has received its share of platinum and gold singles, albums and other industry kudos, most notably a 1980 Grammy Award for Shining Star, which was written and produced by Leo Graham, and induction in the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 2003, The Manhattans released their first studio album in 15 years featuring the ballad Turn Out the Stars, which became one of the year’s best songs.
Tickets may be purchased on Oct. 30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at Tiger Arena and at the door.
A complete schedule of Homecoming Week activities is available on the SSU Web site: www.savannahstate.edu.