“It only takes a minute” crooner Ralph Tavares, of musical group Tavares, dies at 79

Ralph Tavares, the oldest member of the Grammy-winning group Tavares, passed away days before he turned 80.

The death of the late soul and disco crooner was confirmed on the band’s official Facebook page on Thursday afternoon. He would have been 80 on Friday.

“To our loyal fans, family and friends, we are saddened to announce the passing of our brother Ralph,” read a statement. “Please pray for our family during this difficult time. We know that he is now with our Lord forever.

No cause of death was given.

One of 10 brothers, Tavares began performing with his brothers in the 1950s with the band undergoing multiple names (Chubby and the Turnpikes, The Tavares Brothers) and staff changes over the years.

The group eventually changed their official nickname to last name in the early 1970s and jumped into the race as young black male groups gained popularity as musical tastes began to turn into more music. dance oriented.

But before Tavares became a disco sensation, the band scored their first Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Check It Out” in 1973. The following year the band topped the Billboard R&B singles charts with a cover song. from Hall & Oates’ “She’s gone.”

In 1975, the Afro-clad brothers of the Cape Verdean lineage scored the top 10 pop hits “It Only Takes A Minute” from their third studio album “In the City”. The song topped the R&B charts was later covered by Take That and sampled by Jennifer Lopez in 2007.

In 1976, their single “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel” reached No.15 on the Hot 100.

The quintet received prominent attention when their version of the Bee Gees’ “More Than a Woman” appeared in the classic 1977 film “Saturday Night Fever”. The Bee Gees-produced track, which also featured on the Grammy-winning soundtrack, peaked at No. 32 on the Hot 100. It was a bigger hit in Europe, reaching No. 7 on the UK charts.

The group’s last Hot 100 Top 40 hit was in 1982 with “A Penny for Your Thoughts,” which also received a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Category.

According to The Standard-Times, Ralph retired from the group in 1984 and spent more than 30 years working as a bailiff in the Massachusetts cities of New Bedford and Fall River.

He joined Tavares on a special reunion show in 2014.

The same year, the group was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.

William N. Fernandez