The Main Ingredient Biography

This durable New York, USA-based soul group was formed as the Poets in 1964 by Donald McPherson (9 July 1941, USA, d. 4 July 1971, USA), Luther Simmons Jnr. (b. 9 September 1942, New York, USA) and Tony Silvester (b. 7 October 1941, Panama, d. 26 November 2006, USA). One of several groups using the name ‘the Poets’, the trio decided to become the Main Ingredient and signed with producer Bert DeCoteaux, whose lush arrangements provided the requisite foil for their excellent harmonies. This skill was particularly apparent on such early releases as ‘I’m So Proud’ (1970), ‘Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling In Love)’ and ‘Black Seeds Keep On Growing’ (both 1971). McPherson died from leukaemia in 1971 and, ironically, it was his replacement, Cuba Gooding, who sang on the million-selling US Top 5 hit, ‘Everybody Plays The Fool’.

Although the Main Ingredient went on to enjoy further commercial success, particularly with the Top 10 hit ‘Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely’, their work grew increasingly bland and lacked the purpose of those early releases. Gooding embarked on a solo career with Motown Records in 1977, but reunited with Silvester and Simmons in 1979. This trio continued to record under the Main Ingredient name into the late 80s, before Simmons was replaced by Jerome Jackson. The new line-up recorded an album for Polydor Records before lapsing into commercial obscurity for several years. Gooding left the group in 1999 to pursue solo work and was replaced by Carlton Blount (b. Richmond, Virginia, USA). The trio returned to the studio in the new millennium to record Pure Magic for the Magnatar Records label.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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