1975 Tavares – Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel
Five brothers named Ralph, Pooch, Chubby, Butch, and Tiny started singing together in 1959 as Chubby and the Turnpikes. Their parents were from Cape Verdean, but the young men had been born in either New Bedford, Massachusetts, or Providence, Rhode Island.
The band signed with Capitol Records in 1967 and began creating records that only did well locally.
The group’s name eventually changed to Tavares. They reached the R&B top ten and the Hot 100 top forty in 1973 and followed that with two more similar R&B hits.
In 1969, drummer Joey Kramer joined them. They dropped Chubby from their name and became The Turnpikes. About a year later, Joey left to join Aerosmith, and the group started using other backup musicians.
In 1973, the group began appearing using their last name as the group name: Tavares. They recorded their first album in 1973 and regularly began to reach the R&B charts with their singles.
We don’t remember it now, but for a brief time, Tavares was more successful than Hall and Oates. That duo’s first charting record was She’s Gone, which only reached #60 on the Hot 100 in 1974. It would be two long years before Hall and Oates even reached the Hot 100 again!
Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter were producing records for Tavares, and Dennis suggested the group cover She’s Gone for their album in 1974. The single reached #1 on the R&B chart, although it stalled at only #50 on the Hot 100.
Hall and Oates’ record company re-issued their version of She’s Gone after Sara Smile became a hit and it reached the top ten on the Hot 100.
Tavares released It Only Takes A Minute in 1975, and that became their most successful single: the record again topped the R&B chart and reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the new US Disco Action Chart (which later became the US Dance chart).
Freddie Perren was a songwriter and producer who had worked with the Jackson Five on many of their early hits. Freddie began working on disco records in 1975 and produced Love Machine by the Miracles and Boogie Fever by the Sylvers. He also produced the fourth Tavares album, Sky High. The first single from that album was Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel (Part 1).
The disco single was the group’s first truly international hit, reaching #1 on the US Dance chart, #3 on the R&B chart, and #15 on the Hot 100. The record also reached #1 in the Netherlands, which led to an appearance on the Dutch television show TopPop.
Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel was the group’s only gold record for a single, although the band also had a song on the soundtrack for the film Saturday Night Fever, which also earned them a gold album.
The group had a long string of R&B hits and four of them even reached the Hot 100 as well. They continued recording new music until 1983, after which the group continued to appear in oldie shows.
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