Tavares (also known as The Tavares Brothers) are an American R&B, funk and soul music group, composed of five Cape Verdean-American brothers. Born and raised in Providence, RI, they would later move to New Bedford, MA. Tavares was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
The Tavares brothers, whose parents were of Cape Verdean descent, started performing in 1959 as Chubby and the Turnpikes when the youngest brother was 9 years old. Future Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer appeared as the "token white-guy drummer" in a later incarnation called The Turnpikes from the fall of 1969 until September of 1970, when he was invited to join Aerosmith. Chubby and The Turnpikes signed with Capitol Records in 1967 and had a couple of local hit records including "I Know The Inside Story" in 1967 and "Nothing But Promises" in 1968. By 1973, they had changed their name to Tavares and scored their first R&B Top 10 (Pop Top 40) hit with "Check it Out" that same year, and soon began charting regularly on the R&B and pop charts. Their first album included their brother Victor, who sang lead on "Check it Out", but dropped out of the group shortly after. In 1974 Tavares had a #1 R&B hit with Hall & Oates' "She's Gone," (which became a hit for Hall & Oates as well two years later). Tavares followed up that success with "Remember What I Told You to Forget."
1975 turned out to be their most successful year chart-wise, chalking up a Top 40 Pop album (In the City) and their biggest hit, the Top 10 Pop/#1 R&B smash "It Only Takes a Minute", which was later successfully covered by both Jonathan King and Take That, and recently sampled by Jennifer Lopez. They parlayed this success into a spot as an opening act for The Jackson 5. KC and The Sunshine Band was also on this tour. "Minute" was followed by a string of hits: "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel" (1976), "Don't Take Away the Music" (1976), and "Whodunit" (1977, another #1 R&B hit), among others. In 1977 they also recorded "I Wanna See You Soon", a duet with Capitol label mate Freda Payne which received airplay on BBC Radio 1 but failed to chart.
Many of their hits, however, underplayed their R&B background and gave the group the image of being a disco act. This perception was reinforced by their appearance on the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever in 1977. Tavares recorded the Bee Gees song "More Than a Woman," and their version reached the Pop Top 40 that year. The soundtrack became one of the most successful in history, giving Tavares their only Grammy.
Later albums, such as Madam Butterfly and Supercharged, strayed from the disco format and were less successful on the Pop chart (although they continued to have Top 10 R&B hits such as "Never Had a Love Like This Before" and the popular socio-political "Bad Times" written by British singer-songwriter Gerard McMahon). At the start of the 1980s, Tavares left Capitol Records, signing with RCA. They had one last major hit, the ballad "A Penny for Your Thoughts", for which they were nominated for a Grammy in 1982, and their last major release was Words and Music in 1983.
In 1984, Ralph Tavares stepped down from the group, and Tiny left in the mid-1990s, but the other three brothers continue to tour. In early 2009, Tiny Tavares rejoined and is currently touring with the group. Tiny Tavares also invited his grandson Anthony Paul Verville to sing on stage with him during a live family concert.
"It Only Takes a Minute" was later covered by British boy band Take That, becoming a Top 10 UK hit, and is featured in the soundtrack of Konami's dancing game Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix.
"Out of the Picture" was sampled by 50 Cent in his 2003 song "Many Men (Wish Death)".
Musician Feliciano "Flash" Vierra Tavares, the family patriarch and father of all members of Tavares, died in 2008.
Chubby Tavares released his first solo album, Jealousy, on July 17, 2012; a few months after Tavares, Four Tops and the Temptations toured the UK together. Preceding the album a digital-only single was released called "It's Christmas". On December 17, it reached #5 on Amazon's Acid Jazz singles chart. Both the album and the single were produced by Carla Olson, and the album was released by Fuel Records / Universal.
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