SOUL MUSIC AT ITS BEST—Ray, Goodman & Brown members, not in order, Billy Brown, Kevin Owens, and Larry Winfree. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart)
Ray, Goodman & Brown fans were taken back to the time when real soul music made you look forward to “the blue light in the basement days” when the group graced the Kelly Strayhorn stage for New Horizon Theater, Inc. annual blacktie fundraising event on May 4.
“We’ve had challenging times producing plays. We have to pay rent, the actors, sound director and other people,” said Joyce Meggerson-Moore, chairperson of New Horizon Theater, Inc., which is run by an all-volunteer core. “There’s a lot that people don’t know that goes into producing plays. It takes a lot to keep productions going and we have to make funds to continue to make these programs run.”
New Horizon Theater, Inc. was founded with the mission to bring to the Greater Pittsburgh area consistent, high-quality cultural events, reflecting the African-American points of view, and to provide an ongoing venue for ethnic writers and performers to further their professional development.
It was created in 1992 and began with one play a year and has since expanded to four productions annually. To date it has provided opportunities for more than 300 persons in all phases of theater production.
Ray, Goodman & Brown featured the last surviving original member of the R& B group, Billy Brown who serves as the lead singer, Kevin Owens who performed background vocals for Luther Vandross, and Larry “Ice” Winfree who designs all of the group’s attire.
The group began the hour-long concert with songs they performed as members of The Moments.
The Moments were formed in 1969 and recorded on the Stang Record Label,later known as Sugar Hill. In 1979, the group left Stang who owned the rights to the name, The Moments, and went on to Polydor Records and labeled themselves with their own last names, Ray, Goodman & Brown.
The second half of the concert featured songs from Ray, Goodman & Brown’s heyday including, “Special Lady,” “Love On A Two Way Street,” “Not On the Outside” and “Look at Me I’m In Love.”
“They don’t make songs like that anymore,” said Chris Moore who served as master of ceremonies for the evening.