Soul And / Or Related Artists
the main ingredient

Main Ingredient

The line-up of the Main Ingredient, at various times, comprised of:

Jerome Jackson

Stanley Alston

Cuba Gooding, Sr. (b. Cuba Gooding, 27th April 1944, New York City, New York, U.S.A. d. 20th April 2017, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.A.)

Donald McPherson (b. 9th July 1941, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, U.S.A. d. 3rd July 1971, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, U.S.A.)

Luther Simmons Jnr. (b. 9th September 1942, New York, New York State, U.S.A. d. 9th May 2016, U.S.A.)

Tony Sylvester (b. Enrique Antonio Silvester, 7th October 1941, Panama d. 26th November 2006, Panama.)

Carl Tompkins

Larry Moore

Carlton Blount


George Staley, Sr.

The Main Ingredient were formed in Harlem, New York City in 1964.

They, originally, performed under the name the Poets.

Main Ingredient

luther simmons, donald mcpherson and tony silvestre in 1971

At that time, the group comprised of Donald McPherson (lead singer), Luther Simmons, Jr., and Tony Silvester (from Panama).

Initiially singing under the name 'Trio', the group signed to Leiber & Stoller's Red Bird label.

The PoetsInsiders

the poets - merry christmas baby / the insiders - i'm stuck on you

At Red Bird, the group recorded under their new name the Poets, released a Christmas single entitled 'Merry Christmas Baby' b/w 'I'm Stuck On You'.

The Poets then became known as the Insiders, who then were signed to the RCA Records imprint.

The Insiders released 'I'm Stuck On You' (again for Red Bird), before releasing two RCA 45's, 'If You Had A Heart' and 'Im Better Off Without You'.

By 1968, the group went through another identity change, and became known as the Main Ingredient (named after a Coca Cola advertising campaign).

Bert De Coteaux

bert de coteaux

By 1970, they had begun collaborating with the producer/arranger Bert De Coteaux.

Under Bert’s guidance, they achieved their first R&B hit with ‘You've Been My Inspiration’ b/w ‘Life Won't Be The Same’.

Main IngredientMain IngredientMain IngredientMain Ingredient

brotherly love b/w get back - 1969-45 / l.t.d. - 1970 / black seeds - 1971 / tasteful soul - 1971

Further singles were equally successful, and featured a cover on the Curtis Mayfield song ‘I’m So Proud’ b/w ‘Brotherly Love’, along with ‘Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling in Love)’.

A year later they released the socially conscious ‘Black Seeds Keep on Growing’ b/w ‘Baby Change Your Mind’.

Donald McPherson

donald mcpherson

Don McPherson, was then taken ill with leukaemia, and died at the age of 29.

The album 'Black Seeds' was dedicated to Donald's memory by the remaining group members.

Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons enlisted the singer Cuba Gooding, Sr. to their line up, after Cuba had sang leads during Donald’s hospitalisation.

Main IngredientMain IngredientMain IngredientMain Ingredient

bitter - 1972 / afrodisiac - 1973 / euphrates river - 1974 / rolling down a mountainside - 1975

Cuba’s distinctive vocal stylings had an instant effect, with ‘Everybody Plays the Fool’, reaching the top of the R&B and pop charts.

The parent album, ‘Bitter Sweet’, was released, followed by 1973's album ‘Afrodisiac’.

This album featured songs penned by Stevie Wonder ('Superwoman', 'Where Were You When I Needed You', 'I Am Yours', 'Girl Blue', 'Something 'Bout Love' and 'Something Lovely').

In 1974, the group climbed the charts again with their evergreen song ‘Just Don't Want to Be Lonely’ b/w 'Goodbye My Love'.

This single sold over a million copies, climbing into the top ten on the Billboard chart.

Main Ingredient

In 1975, the group collaborated with the singer and songwriter Leon Ware, who co-penned their top ten hit ‘Rolling Down a Mountainside’.

Tony Silvester then left the group and set up a production team with Bert DeCoteaux.

The duo produced Ben E. King's hit ‘Supernatural Thing’ in 1975, and went on to work with Paul Anka, the James Gang, and Joe Simon.

Cuba then left the group to pursue a solo career, whilst Carl Tompkins continued on.

Luther Simmons also left the group and became a stockbroker.

Main IngredientMain IngredientMain IngredientMain Ingredient

shame on the world - 1975 / music maximus - 1976 / ready for love - 1980 / i only have eyes for you - 1981

The group reunited in 1979 (featuring Cuba Gooding, Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons) and recorded two further albums.


In 1980 they released ‘Ready for Love’, followed by 1981's ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ ( which featured the hit ‘Evening of Love’).

Following another break, they began recording again in 1986

The trio reunited for a second time in 1986, however, the releases were not successful and Luther Simmons returned to his day job.

Jerome Jackson joined the line-up in 1989, ad the group released the album and single ’I Just Wanna Love You’.

Main IngredientMain Ingredient

i just wanna love you - 1989 / pure magic - 2001

Cuba Gooding resumed his solo career, whilst Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons re-formed the group in 1999.


Carlton Blount was brought on board as the new lead vocalist, and they released the album ‘Pure Magic’ in 2001.

Tony Silvester died from a myeloma in 2006 and Luther Simmons retired from the group.

Cuba Gooding Snr

In 2017, Cuba Gooding Sr. was found dead in his car in 2017 in California.

Luther Simmons died on the 9th of May 2016, at the age of 74 from cancer.

Today’s Main Ingredient comprise of Jerome Jackson, and Stanley Alston.

Main Ingredient

Real Player


The Main Ingredient L.T.D. (RCA Records 1970)

Tasteful Soul (RCA Records 1971)

Black Seeds (RCA Records 1971)

Bitter Sweet (RCA Records 1972)

Afrodisiac (RCA Records 1973)

Euphrates River (RCA Records 1974)

Rolling Down A Mountainside (RCA Records 1975)

Shame On The World (RCA Records 1975)

Music Maxiums (RCA Records 1977)

Ready For Love (RCA Records 1980)

I Only Have Eyes For You (RCA Records 1981)

I Just Wanna Love You (Polydor Records 1989)

Pure Magic (Magnatar Records 2001)

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