Ralph Viera Tavares - vocals; Arthur Paul Tavares - vocals; Antone Lee Tavares - vocals; Feliciano Tavares - vocals; Perry Lee Tavares - vocals; Sttephen Sword - piano; Shelton Steele - bass; Budd Soo - drums; Hank Smith - guitar; Harris Horn Section
Born between 1942 and 1949, the five Tavares brothers began performing in 1964 as children under the name Chubby & the Turnpikes. The son of a working jazz and R&B musician based in New Bedford, MA—Feliciano "Flash" Vierra Tavares—after the success of the Jackson 5 they re-named themselves, simply, Tavares. The group signed to Capitol Records by early 1973, and included eldest brother, Victor. Victor, however, dropped out by the time the group recorded its follow-up LP, and they carried on as a vocal quintet for over a decade.
In 1974, they did a cover of "She's Gone," which had just been written and recorded by a pop duo named Hall & Oates. Tavares had a #1 hit on the R&B charts with it, prompting Hall & Oates to release it (and score a hit with it) on the pop charts later that year.
Tavares was one of the first vocal groups in R&B to deeply embrace the disco movement. With the help of producers Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, the group began recording In The City, which was released in the summer of 1975. That album would include an R&B cover of Edgar Winter's "Free Ride," (a top 5 hit on the R&B charts) as well as the group's breakthrough crossover smash, "It Only Takes A Minute (To Fall In Love)."
This show was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in 1977, when the group was promoting Sky High, an album produced by Freddie Perren, best known for his work in the studio with the Jackson 5 and such hits as "I Want You Back," "ABC," and "The Love You Save." By this time, the group had fully embraced the disco movement (thanks partly to a hit song and appearance in the film Saturday Night Fever). Sky High boasted the hit, "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel," which further impacted the group on the crossover pop charts and eventually went to #1.
After a band instrumental to warm things up, the group took the stage with "Don't Take Away The Music." Next up is "It Only Takes A Minute" followed by "Check It Out" and the soulful "Wonderful." The Tavares shifts gears with "Whodunit," and then they slow things down with "Goodnight My Love (Pleasant Dreams)," originally recorded by Jesse Belvin in 1954. They close with a spirited version of "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel," which is over 10 minutes long and brings the house down.
In 1982, as the disco movement waned, the group moved to RCA Records, where they had one last hit, a Grammy nominated ballad called "A Penny For Your Thoughts." Two years later, Ralph retired from the group, and in 1994 Arthur left as well. Antone Lee, Feliciano, and Perry Lee continue to tour as Tavares. In 1994, they released The Best of Tavares Revisited, which featured newly recorded versions of the group's greatest hits.