Saturday, July 31, 2010

Al Goodman of The Moments Has Died

Al (Albert Willie) Goodman, who sang bass in the Moments and later as part of its successor-- Ray, Goodman & Brown-- died of a heart attack Monday (July 26) in a Hackensack, New Jersey hospital where he had gone for undisclosed tests. Its reported the 63 year-old Jackson, Mississippi native had also been battling liver disease. Al, Harry Ray and Billy Brown were brought in by Sylvia Robinson's Stang Records to replace the original Moments group in 1969 (though early records featured a variety of old and new members). That group had already charted with "Not On The Outside." The new group's re-recording of "Love On A Two-Way Street" establish them as the definitive Moments, reaching #3 Pop and #1 R&B in 1970. It was followed by such R&B hits as "If I Didn't Care" (#44 Pop, #7 R&B-1970) and "All I Have" (#56 Pop, #9 R&B-1971) and "Sexy Mama," which topped at #17 Pop and #3 R&B in 1974. All in all, the different incarnations of the Moments scored 15 charted Pop and 28 R&B songs from 1969 to 1981. Creative differences with Sylvia however, led to their own departure in 1979, when they were forced to rename themselves Ray, Goodman & Brown. Signing with Polydor Records, they struck gold with their first recording-- "Special Lady" (#5 Pop, #1-R&B-1980), following it up with two more Pop chart records and nine more R&B hits, including "Take It To The Limit" (#8, R&B-1987). Harry left the group briefly for a solo career in the '80s and died in 1992, but Al and Billy continued performing, even backing Alicia Keyes on her songs in the last decade.