Throwback:The Main Ingredient-Happiness Is Just Around The Bend

Donald McPherson, Luther Simmons, Jr., and Tony Silvester got together in 1964 and named themselves The Poets. They launched their new career as R&B singers from their hometown of Harlem, New York and started recording for the Mike Leiber and Jerry Stoller label Red Bird Records. The arrangement was short-lived and the group changed its name to The Insiders and signed a deal with RCA. By 1968 the singers changed their name once more and became The Main Ingredient. A new relationship with music producer Bert DeCoteaux created their first hits “You’ve Been My Inspiration,” “Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling In Love),” “Black Seeds Keep On Growing” and a cover of “I’m So Proud” by The Impressions. A personnel change came in 1971 when McPherson became ill with leukemia and passed. Cuba Gooding Sr. was recruited to be the new lead singer debuting on the Bittersweet album that spawned one of their signature songs “Everybody Plays The Fool.” Afrodisiac was their next album release of mostly cover songs by Stevie Wonder in 1973 and its failure to produce hits did not make the lustrous music inside any less relevant or valuable. Euphrates River in 1974 would produce their next big market success with “Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely.” “Happiness Is Just Around The Bend” comes from the Euphrates collection and its lack of a high chart position was supplemented by immediate inclusion in dance clubs. Leon Ware worked on the group’s 1975 album Rolling Down A Mountainside and the hit song of the same name. The group broke-up in 1977 and reunited to record two more albums Ready For Love and I Only Have Eyes For You in the ’80s. Cuba Gooding Sr. worked on his solo career releasing his last album in 2004. Simmons and Silvester put together another lineup of The Main Ingredient in 1999 with Carlton Blount making 2001’s Pure Magic their last album. Silvester passed in 2004 after a six year bout with cancer.