At first mention, the name Cuba Gooding brings about memories of the actor who starred in feature films like Jerry Maguire, Boyz n the Hood, and Red Tails. That would be Cuba Gooding, Jr., but it’s his father who has been entertaining audiences for the last 40 years as the lead singer of the group The Main Ingredient. The group, formed in the mid- 1960s, already had songs like “You’ve Been My Inspiration” and “I’m So Proud” to hit the charts before Gooding moved from the position of background to lead vocalist as the result of the untimely death of lead singer Donald McPherson in 1971. The following year the group released their album Bitter Sweet, which contained the single “Everybody Plays the Fool.” The song made it to number two on the R&B charts, number three on the pop charts, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1973 for Best R&B Song. Their 1973 release Afrodisiac was a fan favorite with songs written by the legendary Stevie Wonder, and in 1974 The Main Ingredient scored another top 10 hit with the song “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely.” The group also hit the charts with an organ-driven disco- flavored tune entitled “Happiness Is Just Around The Bend,” written by British musician and acid jazz pioneer Brian Auger. “Happiness” made it to number seven on the R&B chart and was a dace floor favorite in the disco era. Currently, Cuba Gooding & The Main Ingredient entertain audiences across the globe. Gooding was recently named the official Ambassador of Goodwill to Rosarito Beach in Baja, California Mexico where an amphitheater–which will host performances from old school artists as well as up and coming talent–is being constructed in his name.
Montrose Cunningham is an independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado residing in Dallas, Texas. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughter, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his latest release “Inertia” at www.MontroseMusic.com, visit him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @MontroseC.