BMM Artist Spotlight: Gerald Alston, Lead Singer of The Manhattans


Photo Credit: Getty Images/Gilles Petard

In honor of Black Music Month,  we’re taking a look at Gerald Alston, an amazing performer, recruited straight out of college to be the lead singer of the legendary R&B group, The Manhattans. 

Being the son of Rev. J.B. Alston, and the nephew of the gospel great, Johnny Fields, the church was Gerald’s first introduction to music. During his teenage years, he formed his own music group, The New Imperials. They sang both religious and secular music.

While performing a show at Kittrell College in North Carolina, The Manhattans needed to borrow audio equipment from Alston’s band. At the time he was rehearsing for an upcoming show, The Manhattans overheard Alston and immediately asked, the then 17-year-old, to join their group but he said no.

About a year later, former lead singer George Smith became sick and sadly succumbed to a brain tumor.  The Manhattans extended there offer once again to Alston and this time he accepted. They went on to achieve major success together as a group, recording hits like “Kiss and Say Goodbye,”  which reached number one on both the US Billboard Pop and R&B charts.

WBLS Host Bob Lee Interviews Gerald Alston:

After performing over a decade with The Manhattans, Alston left the group and signed with Motown in 1988.  He went on to pursue an illustrious solo career, recording five albums and ten solo singles including, his top charting  “Take Me Where You Want To,” “You Laid Your Love on Me,” and “Getting Back into Love.”

Esther Austin interviews Gerald Alston:

Gerald Alston, thank you for your contribution to music and today we recognize and honor you.