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Manhattans, The

Not as successful in the UK as, say, The Stylistics or The Chi-Lites, what really set The Manhattans apart in the 60s and 70s was the number of good songwriters in the group’s ranks.

Blue Lovett, Sonny Bivins, Ken Kelley and George Smith all contributed fine songs as the act moved from their first hits, typified by the gentle certitude of 1965’s breakthrough, Lovett’s I Wanna Be (Your Everything) – which echoed The Impressions – to Bivins’ Baby I Need You, which sounds like an early Smokey Robinson production of The Temptations.

Lead singer George Smith died of a brain tumour in 1970, Gerald Alston replaced him, and in 1972 the group signed to CBS. International breakout followed.

George Smith
Blue Lovett
Sonny Bivins
Ken Kelley
Gerald Alston