The vocal group Tavares left a mark on the music world with success in the pop, dance and R&B genres.
The group will be celebrated for its contributions to R&B during the National R&B Music Society's Black Tie Gala & Award Ceremony on Sunday at Resorts Casino Hotel. Tavares - a family act made up of brothers - is one of more than a half dozen performers who will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards, including The Delfonics and the Legendary Ladies of Skyy.
"It's a great honor. It shows that we've been in the business this long, and we're being recognized as a working group, and a group that's just survived this long to begin with," Pooch Tavares said. "It's tough to survive in this world today, especially in the music business. We're still hanging in there."
Tavares started performing live in 1959. The group was known over the years as Chubby and the Turnpikes and The Tavares Brothers. The group existed for 14 years before it released its first single, a slow jam called "Check It Out" that went to No. 5 on Billboard's R&B charts in the summer of 1973. Even though the brothers earned No. 1 singles, gold records and a Grammy Award, Pooch Tavares said his most vivid memory of being in the group was hearing "Check It Out" on the radio for the first time.
"I was sitting in the car with a bunch of friends, and our record comes on the radio. They are all elated. 'Hey, wow, you are sitting right beside us.' That's the way I've always been. I've always been a person that likes to hang out with my friends and do thing with them," Tavares said.
When Tavares performs live Sunday, they will sing the three top 5 R&B hits that they had before experiencing any pop or dance chart success, "Check It Out," "She's Gone," which was later recorded by Hall & Oates and "Remember What I Told You To Forget," said Vannessa Jordan, of Galloway Township, the president/CEO of the National R&B Music Society Inc.
During the disco era, Tavares was most successful. They scored two top-15 pop hits and two top-two dance singles with the songs "It Only Takes a Minute" in 1975 and "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel" in 1976. The 15 million people who bought the "Saturday Night Fever! The Original Movie Soundtrack" album between 1977 and 1980, one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time, have a Tavares song in their collection. The recording includes Tavares' version of the Bees Gees' song "More Than a Woman." The Bees Gees' version of the same song also is on the soundtrack.
The Tavares members earned their Grammy Awards when the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack won album of the year during the 1979 Grammy Awards.
"We were already going up the R&B charts to begin with, but then, it solidified our crossing over to the pop charts, to the pop area," said Pooch Tavares about his group's appearance on the soundtrack. "We had done some things. We had taken records to No. 1. We were doing OK, but then, this thing shot us through the moon. That was one of the biggest things that ever happened to us. I still appreciate it, believe me."
Tavares, who also have Chubby, Butch and Tiny Tavares as current members, last performed in an Atlantic City casino as part of the Classic Disco Explosion lineup with The Trammps in June 2010 at Resorts Casino Hotel. The group last entertained in Atlantic City during June last year for free at Historic Gardner's Basin.
Jordan recommended Tavares receive recognition for two reasons.
"A lot of groups these days don't have the same members. It can be a whole other group. ... All of them (Tavares) who are singing are the originals that are still performing," Jordan said. "We loved them as R&B because we loved 'Check It Out.' They were huge, and they are a crossover to disco. I think they don't get the credit they deserve. They are a great harmony group. They are, to me, underrated."
Contact Vincent Jackson:
If you go
The third annual National R&B Music Society's Black Tie Gala & Award Ceremony 7 p.m. Sunday in Ballroom A and B on the second floor of Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Tickets are $100 and available at 609-339-6767 or rnbmusicsociety.com