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Thanksgiving Soul Jam: The Manhattans With Gerald Alston & Bloodstone


Nov 25, 2017 – 7:30 PM

1200 Athens Avenue
Lincoln, CA 95648 Map

  • Gerald Alston

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Gerald Alston: .. .. .. .. .. ..

As any R&B enthusiast will attest, the name Gerald Alston has always been synonymous with soul, elegance and sophistication. The one voice you never get tired of.

Alston inherited some big shoes and has filled them admirably for over 17 years. Born in Henderson, North Carolina, Gerald Alston the son of Rev. J.B. Alston and the nephew of gospel great Johnny Fields of the Five Blind Boys of Alabama learned his trade in church. As a teen he formed Gerald Alston & the New Imperials, a group that performing both secular and religious music, called themselves The Gospel Jubilee when they appeared in churches.

During a local appearance, Alston met the Manhattans when they borrowed equipment from Alston's band. When The Manhattans heard Gerald rehearsing, they loved what they heard and asked the 17 year old to join the group. Alston took over as their lead singer in 1970. The group enjoyed enormous success in the 70s and 80s with songs such as: There's No Me Without You, Wish That You Were Mine, Hurt, We Never Danced To A Love Song, Don't Take Your Love From Me, I Kinda Miss You And It Feels So Good To be Loved So Bad. Their 1976 single Kiss and Say Goodbye was both a number one R&B and Pop hit. The Manhattans won a Grammy in 1980 for the big hit Shining Star.

After seventeen years, Gerald left The Manhattans to pursue a solo career. His debut album with Motown Records was entitled Gerald Alston followed by Open Invitation in 1990. His third album in 1992 Always In The Mood was a blend of classic R&B songs with 90s music and nuances. In 1993, Gerald signed with Scotti Brothers/Street Life Records and recorded his debut album entitled First Class Only which Alston believes is one of the best albums he has recorded.

In the same year, Gerald reunited with Blue Lovett and The Manhattans for a 30th year reunion performance. For the past thirteen years The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett have been enjoying new found success, performing nationally and around the world. Just to name a few places, Japan, South Africa, Jamaica, and Bermuda.

In the states at places like Star Plaza, Merrillville, Fox Theaters, Atlanta, and Detroit, Radio City, The Beacon Theater, Westbury Music Fair and B.B. King Supper club all in the New York area. Constitution Hall, Washington, DC. Grand Casino, Tunica, Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, and the Celebrity in Phoenix.

In September 2003 Alston was asked to perform at the Sam Cooke Tribute in Chicago, IL. In November of 2005 Alston and The Manhattans performed at The State Theater in Cleveland, OH - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 10th Annual American Music Masters honoring the legend Sam Cooke. September 30, 2006 Alston was asked back to the Sam Cooke Tribute in Chicago. Alston is looking forward to a continued singing career and bringing joy, happiness and heart felt soul to his many fans around the world.


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Kansas City’s “Bloodstone” remains one of the soul music scene’s brightest and longest-burning lights. Bloodstone has stood the test of time for more than four decades, all the while performing with some of pop music’s most renowned and revered artists.

Wowing the local scene as “The Sinceres”, band founders Harry Williams, Charles Love, Willis Draffen, Charles McCormick, Roger Durham, and Melvin Webb, took their unique sound to stages across their native Kansas City, crossing racial boundaries and working to establish harmony both on and off stage. The Sinceres took their act to Los Angeles, California, where they set the L.A. scene on fire. Performing alongside groups such as then popular “Younghearts” and “The Ike & Tina Turner Revue“, the band honed it’s skills and crafted what became the distinctive “Bloodstone” sound before striking out for London, England in 1972.

A chance fifteen minute performance at London’s legendary “Roundhouse Auditorium” would bring Decca Records knocking at their door. Stax recording artists “Carla & Rufus Thomas”, and the up and coming “Al Green“, had sold out the venue. “Bloodstone” played as a warm-up act while the stage was being set up for “Al Green’s” band, behind the drawn curtains backstage. The band brought the audience to their feet and kept them there throughout the entire intermission in what Britain’s “Blues & Soul” Magazine described as a history-making performance. The five minute standing ovation subsided only when the band returned to take another bow. “Al Green” would remember that night, and “Bloodstone” appeared with him on several tours.

The band that had left the U. S. as the “Sinceres”, returned as “Bloodstone” to record their second album and their first hit song “Natural High.” The group would return to London to record with the London Symphony Orchestra’s string section, and appear with such artists as “The Who”, and “Elton John.” While Natural High was being certified for one million sells, the close knit group would suffer their first loss with the passing of band member Roger Durham.

“Bloodstone” recorded five albums with Decca Records, before venturing into the movie scene and taking on the starring role in “Train Ride to Hollywood”, a musical comedy motion picture, written specifically for them and directed by Charles Rondeau.

After recording albums with Epic-CBS and Motown Record labels, and fighting through the “Disco” era, the band performed with such artists as “Marvin Gay”, the “O’Jays”, the “Temptations”, “Elton John”, “Gladys Knight & the Pips”, the “Supremes”, “Sly & The Family Stone”, “Chaka Khan”, and many others.

“Bloodstone” next signed with the Isley Brothers’ T-Neck Record label, recording the legendary hit “We Go A Long Way Back” in 1982, and while on tour, received the news that Melvin Webb, longtime friend and their original drummer passed away.

The “Old School Rival” of the early 90’s, brought “Bloodstone” back to prominence, and they began an extensive slate of live performances throughout the nation and overseas with “The Mighty Dells“, “Stylistics“, the “Emotions”, and “ The Chi-Lites”.

Despite the deaths of founding members Roger Durham in 1972, Melvin Webb in 1982, and the sudden passing of Willis Draffen in 2002, “Bloodstone”, have kept on singing. Instead of looking for a new voice out west or the east coast, they only had to look across the state line to Kansas City, Kansas native Donald Brown, for that special voice that was needed to preserve that special “Bloodstone Sound”.

“Bloodstone” has now relocated back to Kansas City, started their own label and have now released their first CD, “Now … That’s What I’m Talkin’ About!” on Check It Records, highlighting what “Bloodstone“ calls the “Kansas City Sound”, introducing the nation to the often overlooked area’s talented singers, songwriters, musicians, and producers.

In this newest chapter of the group’s career, “Bloodstone” has made the long journey from scrappy innovators, to “Elder Statesmen” of soul and will continue to do so with grace, talent and in perfect harmony.

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