I had a Funky Friday post just about ready to go for today, when I saw the news that Cuba Gooding, Sr. passed away. Best known now as the father of actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., he also had a measure of fame as the lead singer of the soul group The Main Ingredient.
Most of the Main Ingredient’s hits were more toward the smooth soul side of the spectrum of R&B. Gooding joined the group in 1971, replacing Donald McPherson as the lead singer. McPherson would die of leukemia not long after leaving the group. McPherson sang lead on the cover of the Impressions’ “I’m So Proud,” “Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling In Love)” and “You’ve Been My Inspiration”: songs that fill Quiet Storm playlists to this day. Gooding’s first single as lead singer of the group was their signature song, “Everybody Plays The Fool.” The song was a big hit on both the pop and R&B charts.
From the album Euphrates River, the Main Ingredient’s best shot at a funk tune was a cover of Brian Auger’s “Happiness Is Just Around The Bend.” The song proved to be another winner for the group, making the pop top 40 and peaking at #7 R&B. While “Everybody Plays The Fool” and “Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely” are better known, they don’t have what it takes to make Funky Friday. “Happiness Is Just Around The Bend” does, though its funk is a little smoother than most.
But I say, it belongs today. RIP Cuba Gooding Sr. Please enjoy “Happiness Is Just Around The Bend,” and thanks for listening and reading.