If someone would have said 5 years ago I’d be interviewing a member from one of R&B’s legendary singing group, ” The Main Ingredient”, I would’ve said, you have got to be kidding me. But, when I think of “The Main Ingredient”, Immediately the feel-good songs that come to mind are, “Everybody Plays The Fool”, (Nominated for a Grammy Award in 1973) “Just Don’t Want Lonely”, “Happiness Is Just Around The Bend” and many others.
BackBeat R&B had the honor and pleasure of conducting an interview with the current lead member of the group Mr. Stan Alston. Stan is a man who wears many hats, he’s a talented singer, songwriter, actor, poet, and author.
What many people do not know about the accomplished Mr. Stan Alston is, when he is not working as a solo artist, (The Alston Experience) he is singing with “The Main Ingredient” who has toured from the U.S to the UK to Paris. He has performed off-Broadway with Loretta Devine. He has shared the stage with many musicians such as, “The Delfonics”, “Phyllis Hyman”, “Al Green”, “The Stylistics and many others. He composed songs for WJZ TV and AT&T Reach Out America Campaign.
He has won awards for TDK, the International Society for Poets and has released numerous CD’s and is the author of a couple of books. Unfortunately, with the untimely passing of the groups founding member Cuba Gooding Sr, Stan is very busy these days keeping the groups legacy alive as he owns the naming rights to the “Main Ingredient”.
With all of this and his hectic schedule, Stan took time to answer my questions even though he’s been recuperating from Rotator Cuff Surgery. So I am really honored to do this interview about Mr. Stan Alston, where the group is today without Cuba Gooding Sr, and what’s in store for the future.
BB R&B: I think it’s important for your fans to know, when did you join “The Main Ingredient” and how did you get started in the Music Industry?
STAN: I have been in the music industry since 1967 and getting paid professionally since the age of 13 in Baltimore, MD. I started singing with “The Main Ingredient” in 2012.
BB R&B: I recently read at age 13 you opened for the R&B group “The Manhattans”, are you related to the lead singer Gerald Alston?
Stan: Yes, he is a distance cousin with family in North Carolina and Baltimore where I was raised.
BB R&B: What kind of musical training did you receive?
Stan: I first learned in Church, next was High School. I took private voice lessons as well. I have a five-octave voice range. 2nd soprano, 1st, and 2nd tenor and 1st and second baritone.
BB R&B: You are a well-known recording artist and author, due to the passing of Mr. Cuba Gooding Sr will you and the other remaining member continue to sing as the “The Main Ingredient”?
Stan: Since the untimely death of Cuba Gooding Sr, I get more radio interviews than before. Yes, Jerome Jackson and I will continue to carry the group.
BB R&B: If you could open up a show for any artists on tour now, who would he/she be?
Stan: I would like to open up for John Legend or Patti Labelle!
BB R&B: Do you write your own music, and if so where do you draw your inspiration from?
Stan: I’ve written a few hundred songs and released multiple music cd’s “Reason’s”, “We’re Hot”, “Faith”, “2012 Unveiled”, and “Life”. I also completed four books, two audios, two poetry with short stories. I love the spoken word and was tutored by Rupert Stone of Morgan University. Maya Angelou and Edgar Allen Poe.
BB R&B: What was your biggest challenge when you first started singing and what advice would you give a young person going into the music industry?
Stan: Finding good management and getting paid for work gigs as a young artist. You now have it easier with shows that promote talent, but it won’t teach you the business. Practice, learn, be humble, and learn this business.
BB R&B: What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Stan: Without music, I would be working in Telecommunications or in the school system. I love helping young people and supporting our seniors.
BB R&B: So, what’s new for Stan Alston and the Main Ingredient? Are there any upcoming tours, Books, Cd’s, etc?
Stan: I’m still under doctors care but will be in West Virginia to perform a few songs from the Catalog. I have an audiobook that I’d love to bring to the stage. Also, I have new music pending studio dates.
BB R&B: You are making quite an impact on the world with your music and books, what do you think your legacy will be?
Stan: My final legacy is still pending, what I have accomplished and will accomplish with my health still an issue.
Download and listen to Stan Alston’s music @ the following links:
SOUND CLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/stanlalst
THANK YOU, MR.STAN ALSTON AND THE MAIN INGREDIENT FOR SHARING YOUR VOICES AND TALENT WITH THE WORLD.