Wed | Jul 17, 2019

Perry’s pure white Bday

Published:Tuesday | May 7, 2019 | 12:08 AMSade Gardner/Gleaner Writer
Peter Perry cuts his birthday cake with his mother Beryl Lee Oliver (right) and the host, Camile Buchanan.
George Nooks in performance.
Peter Perry (centre) onstage with Gerald Alston (right) and David Tyson.
The Manhattans. From left: Troy May, David Tyson and Gerald Alson.
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Honey-sweet vocals and smooth, coordinated dance moves were part of a musical voyage captained by evergreen R&B group The Manhattans, at Perry’s Pure White birthday and Pre-Mother’s Day party in the Old Capital on Friday. Though the statesmen have shared their timeless catalogue with Jamaica in the past, this affair marked their debut performance in Spanish Town at the transformed examination depot.

“There is a lot of history here, and a lot of people in Spanish Town don’t get the chance to come to Kingston, and I think our fans here deserve to see us perform just like those in Kingston,” lead singer Gerald Alston told The Gleaner.

The group, which celebrates its 57th anniversary come August, had guests dancing and singing along during their 40-minute set, comprising classics from the 70s like I’ll Never Find Another, It Feels so Good to be Loved so Bad, Hurt and There’s No Me Without You. There was also a special treat in store for the birthday boy, Peter Perry, as the group performed his personal favourite – We Never Danced to a Love Song. He also requested an encore performance of Kiss and Say Goodbye, the group’s biggest single to date.

The journey heightened at pitstops in the ’80s, with crowd favourites like Shining Star, before they segued into the new age, debuting their latest release Get It Ready. The single will be featured on their upcoming album, The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston: The Legacy Continues, slated for release by September.

Also catering to music enthusiasts was singer George Nooks, who flawlessly delivered a variety of covers, including Enrique Iglesias’ Hero, Dennis Brown’s Should I , and from his catalogue, God is Standing By and Forty Leg Dread.

Special cause

Though it was a celebratory night of bringing clean, world-class entertainment to Spanish Town, it also served a greater purpose. Perry, operator of a popular funeral home service in the area, plans to use part proceeds from the event in aid of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation in the city.

He did not wish to disclose the donation amount to be made, but said the ­arrangement has already been finalised.

He was pleased with the inaugural staging of the event, and confirmed that American blues and R&B singer Dorothy Moore, known for her ’76 cover of Misty Blues, is headlining next year.

“I am definitely pleased; for a six-week planning process, I am impressed. Can you imagine how next year will be?” Perry asked. “I’m gonna bring in an international artiste every year.”

The evening culminated with the cake-cutting, and selections from esteemed sound systems Bass Odyssey and Killamanjaro, who got the party in full swing with the best from the retro era into the millennium.