'70s Soul Jam tour to play Blaisdell Arena in July
By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Staff Writer
|||Soul Jam on TV
'70s Soul Jam, featuring The Stylistics, The Delfonics, Cuba Gooding Sr. and The Main Ingredient, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes and The Dramatics
7 tonight, KHET
Concert promoter Tom Moffatt will be in KHET's studios to offer concert packages to the '70s Soul Jam's Honolulu date on July 23. Available for $180 during the broadcast (and $200 afterward), each package includes a pair of concert tickets and entrance to a pre-concert champagne reception with the performers. All proceeds from package sales will benefit Hawai'i Public Television.
The '70s Soul Jam tour arrives for a one-night stand at Blaisdell Arena at 7 p.m. on July 23 with a quintet of mellower R&B masters from the era of eight-tracks, Hai Karate cologne, John Shaft and the most lushly orchestrated make-out ballads ever committed to vinyl. Scheduled to perform at the Honolulu date of this long-running national tour are The Stylistics, The Chi-Lites, The Delfonics, Harold Melvin's Bluenotes and The Main Ingredient's Cuba Gooding Sr.
Yeah, that's Cuba Gooding Sr.
And as if all of this wasn't enough, we're told that all of the groups heading here still have most of their original members. Can you dig it?
Tickets for the '70s Soul Jam will go on sale tomorrow at the Blaisdell box office and TicketPlus locations statewide for $35 and $45 each. For more information or to charge tickets, call 526-4400.
With a lush sound crafted by legendary Philly soul producer Thom Bell, The Stylistics offered up some of the era's most hopelessly swoony and sweet romantic ballads. Awash with strings, piano and gorgeous orchestration, songs such as "You Are Everything," "Betcha By Golly, Wow" and "Break Up To Make Up" remain staples of late night "love jams" request shows, and that rare breed of karaoke enthusiast daring enough to take on vocalist Russell Thompkin Jr.'s soaring falsetto for their sweetie.
Like The Stylistics, the Chicago-based Chi-Lites were also known for their smooth way around a soul ballad. Besides possessing a lead singer in Eugene Record capable of both incredible falsetto and tenor highs ("Oh Girl"), The Chi-Lites were also notable for their warm and elegant four-part harmonies. The classic "Have You Seen Her" offers the most timeless example of The Chi-Lites harmonic prowess.
The Delfonics never had the same kind of R&B and pop singles success that either The Stylistics or The Chi-Lites did, but the few hits they did manage to chart are among the best and best-remembered of Thom Bell's Philly Soul oeuvre. In addition to being covered by acts as diverse as New Kids On The Block and Aretha Franklin, The Delfonics bittersweet masterpiece "Didn't I Blow Your Mind" was used to score prominent scenes in films by Spike Lee ("Crooklyn") and Quentin Tarantino ("Jackie Brown").
Though first formed in Philadelphia in 1954, Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes achieved its greatest success in the early 1970s when the group was signed to prolific producing/songwriting team Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's Philly International label and Teddy Pendergrass joined the group as its drummer. In 1972, the charismatic Pendergrass took on lead vocal chores, most famously on the pleading ballad "If You Don't Know Me By Now." Pendergrass departed the group in 1975 and founder Melvin passed away in 1997, but the group Ácontinues to perform as his Bluenotes.
Joining The Main Ingredient in 1971 after the death of lead singer Donald McPherson, Cuba Gooding Sr. helped the trio score its three sole Top 40 hits including their biggest "Everybody Plays The Fool." We last appreciated offspring Junior's acting skills in "Snow Dogs."