March 22, 2023

Classic R&B Groups Come to New Brunswick

OLDIES BUT GOODIES: The Spinners are among the artists who will be performing old favorites at the State Theatre New Jersey on April 14.

State Theatre New Jersey presents a “Classic R&B Spectacular” with The Spinners, Sonny Bivins Manhattans, The Trammps featuring Earl Young, and Parker J on Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $39-$89.

The Spinners, from the suburbs of Detroit, formed in 1960 and their first hit single, “That’s What Girls are Made For,” made the top five on the R&B chart. They signed with Berry Gordy’s Motown label, but had limited success throughout the ’60s. In 1972, they switched to Atlantic Records and began their collaboration with Philadelphia-based songwriter-producer Thom Bell, resulting in a string of hit singles on the pop and R&B charts throughout the decade of the 1970s. They dominated the charts with 11 top 20 pop singles, including seven top five pop hits, and 14 top five R&B hits.

Sonny Bivins Manhattans got their start in Jersey City high schools in 1962. Sonny was the leader of the band and wrote most of their hits. Their first hit was “I Wanna Be Your Everything.” In 1968, they won the Most Promising Group award by NATRA. In the early ’70s, “One Life to Live” and “There’s No Me Without You” both hit No. 3 on the R&B chart. The group had 45 hits on the Billboard’s R&B chart. Their signature hit, “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” written by Blue Lovett, was No. 1 on both the pop and R&B charts and was only the second single ever to go platinum.

The Trammps featuring Earl Young is a soul band that later evolved into disco. Young is recognized as the creator of the Philadelphia Sound, as well as drumming on many of B.B. King’s, Wilson Pickett’s, and Johnny Mathis’ hits. Special guest Parker J, who is from Roselle, will be opening the show.

State Theatre New Jersey is at 15 Livingston Avenue. For tickets and more information, visit