FAMU professor Tookes conducts remake of The Main Ingredient classics
By Andrew J. Skerritt
FAMU Office of Communications
Florida. A&M University music business professor Darryl Tookes and other music faculty and students played major roles in recording the recently released The Main Ingredient’s R&B classics Everybody Plays the Fool and Just Don’t Want to be Lonely.
Tookes was the executive producer, lead singer, conductor, and arranger for the project. FAMU faculty and students provided music and background vocals for the two songs.
Shirley Gooding, widow of former Main Ingredient singer Cuba Gooding, and Don W. Saint James produced the recordings.
“I’m honored to bring this evolutionary and revolutionary project to life, an homage to The Main Ingredient along with a host of legendary singers – many of whom were my friends as well as vocal inspirations,” Tookes said. “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m humbled to pay tribute to the music and legacy of The Main Ingredient, featuring Cuba Gooding, whose voice I first heard and loved when I was a teenager. The recordings are also a tribute to the many African American tenors and lead singer of the classic-soul era of the 1960s and 70s, many of whom didn’t always get their proper due. My hope is that they are listening and somehow know that the majestic legacy of their wonderful music lives on.”
Joining Tookes on Everybody Plays the Fool is actor/rapper Omar Gooding, son of the late singer and Shirley. The youngest brother of Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., Gooding will star on the Disney Channel’s new television show Saturdays premiering on March 24.
Singers Larry Moore and Don Black are also on the evolutionary recordings. Both vocalists were with The Main Ingredient when the group featured Cuba Gooding. Moore remains with the group. The recordings’ music and additional singing are provided by current or past vocal and music majors from FAMU, where Tookes, an alum, is the director of Music Industry Studies.
FAMU alum Gerald Hinson, Ph.D., served as chief engineer for recording, mixing, and mastering the songs. Hinson died on Feb. 15. Weeks before Hinson died, he gave Tookes a computer chip with thousands of pieces of information about the recording project.
The team worked remotely from studios, summer of 2020 and all of 2021. The recording was done in FAMU Studio 14, Hinson’s On-2 Music Production Studio, Tookes’ home studio, and studios in New York and Los Angeles during the height of the pandemic when most of America was working remotely.
“Without Gerald’s expertise, ingenuity, and organizational genius, this would have been impossible to accomplish,” Tookes said.
The latest versions of Everybody Plays The Fool and Just Don’t Want to be Lonely will be combined and released as an extended play recording this spring. The Main Ingredient will release an album this fall with six to eight songs comprised of new compositions, along with the group’s other classics.