Today in Music History (January 15): The music world discovers Tavares

January 15, 1974 – Tavares releases debut album, Check It Out

When asked to name the Soul Music supergroups of the '70s and early '80s, folks tend to gravitate to familiar names such as Earth, Wind and Fire, the Spinners, the Commodores and the Isley Brothers.  However, five brothers from New Bedford, Massachusetts - Ralph, Tiny, Chubby, Butch and Pooch Tavares - created some of the most consistently high quality soul music of that period.

January 15, 1974 – Tavares releases debut album, Check It Out

When asked to name the Soul Music supergroups of the '70s and early '80s, folks tend to gravitate to familiar names such as Earth, Wind and Fire, the Spinners, the Commodores and the Isley Brothers.  However, five brothers from New Bedford, Massachusetts - Ralph, Tiny, Chubby, Butch and Pooch Tavares - created some of the most consistently high quality soul music of that period.

Originally called "Chubby and the Turnpikes," the Tavares brothers spent the late '60s and early '70s in their native New England covering tunes of R&B greats at various clubs, while trying to land a record deal.

When they finally scored a contract with Capitol Records' fledgling black music division, they were teamed with hot songwriter and producer Johnny Bristol, and the result was an auspicious debut album that captured the zeitgeist of early 70s R&B. The Check It Out LP gave the first popular glimpse of tight brotherly harmonies and alternating lead vocals that would become the Tavares trademark sound. And the album came out of the box strong with the smash title cut, a cover of a The Friends of Distinction number that soared to the R&B top 10, and gave the group its first of many pop crossovers.

Check It Out proved to be the beginning of a string of hit albums that took the brothers into the early 80s as one of R&B and dance music’s top acts. It also set the stage for a half century of continued touring success for one of soul music’s top family acts.

By Chris Rizik

 
Choice Cut - Will Preston - "Never Knew Love"
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