The Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Vocal Group Hall of Fame
Inductions Now Available
on iTunes and Amazon!

Amazon MP3 logo


Induction Concert CD's and DVD's Available Now.

Become A VGHF Member. Contacts

Audio ClipsVideo Preview

The Manhattan TransferThe Manhattan TransferThe Manhattan TransferThe Manhattan TransferThe Manhattan Transfer

Click speaker button below to turn slide show audio off
Click audio / video clip above to hear additional audio

The Manhattan Transfer Induction performance at
The Vocal Group Hall of Fame 2003 Inductions

The Manhattan Transfer (Inducted 1998)

A vocal group that proved the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s weren’t absent from the music of the ‘80s, Manhattan Transfer was a very successful act in that decade.  Deriving their name from a novel about 1920s New York, the original group formed in New York City in 1969 and included  Tim Hauser, Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson and Pat Rosalia, Gene Pistilli (later with Cashman, Pistilli, and West on Capitol Records in 1971), .  Hauser sand with a Brooklyn doo wop group in 1959 called THE CRITERIONS, who recorded the obscure releases “Don’t Say Goodbye” and “I Remain Truly Yours” on Cecilia Records.  Ironically, the lead singer of the Criterions, one Tommy West, became the West of Cashman, Pistilli, and-some 12 years later.  The Transfer’s earlier releases could best be described as a cross between “let’s not take ourselves too seriously” and folk doo wop with a touch of country.  Recordings like “Chicken Bone Bone,” “Java Jive,” and “Rosianna” didn’t have much commerciality, but the group still managed to get a Capitol Records recording contract.

By 1972, Hauser’s then current occupation as a cab driver had led to a fateful meeting with Janis Siegel through an introduction by a passenger in Hauser’s cab.  At the time Siegel was singing with the group Laurel Canyon and had been in the Young Generation on Red Bird Records in 1965.  Hauser’s cab proved to be mecca for talent; that’s where he also met singer Laurel Masse . He filled out the foursome with an acquaintance of Messe’s, Alan Paul, who was then appearing in the original cast of Grease.With a common taste for four-part harmony that was uncharacteristic for a group in the early and mid-‘70s, they landed a recording contract with Atlantic Records.  Their second single, a gospel/ pop recording titled “Operator” (1975), showed Atlantic’s faith was well placed. It went up to number 22 on the pop charts and garnered the group the opportunity to star in their own TV summer replacement series (it ran for three weeks.)While American chart hits were hard to come by for the group after “Operator,” their December 1976 recording of “Chanson D’Amour” (the Art and Dottie Todd hit from 1959) became a number one record in France and England by April 1977.  In 1979, Laurel Masse left for a solo career and Cheryl Bentyne, formerly of the New Deal Rhythm Band (1975) took her place.Changing vocal direction with almost every LP through the ‘70s and ‘80s, the group’s most successful chart single was a jazz-flavored doo wop remake of THE AD LIBS’ 1965 hit “The Boy from New York City,” reaching number seven in the summer of 1981.The group’s flexibility and growing expertise enabled them to perform music from the ‘30s to the ‘80s, touching on bebop, fusion jazz, doo wop, Latin melodies, pop/rock, and so on.  Although never considered a superstar act, their accomplishments (such as having each of their six studio LPs between 1980 and 1989 contain at least on Grammy-winning performance, and being the first group to win Grammys in the same year in both jazz and pop categories) won them a loyal worldwide following.  Due to their varied style, Manhattan Transfer’s recordings placed on the pop, R&B, and jazz charts and registered 10 chart singles in England.Through 1989, the group recorded 12 LPs and nine singles (two R&B charters and seven pop charters) and won 10 Grammys. ~ Jay Warner

External Links
Manhattan Transfer Official Website

Soundtrack - Filmography

  1. Dance with Me (1998) (performer: "Boy from New York City")
  2. A League of Their Own (1992) (performer: "CHOO CHOO CH'BOOGIE", "ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET")
    Sharky's Machine (1981) (performer: "Route 66")
  3. Christmas at the Vatican (2001) (TV) (singing voice) .... Singers
  4. "Austin City Limits"
        - Episode dated 21 February 1998 (1998) TV Episode .... Themselves
    "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson"
    ... aka The Best of Carson (USA: rerun title)
        - Episode dated 31 December 1980 (1980) TV Episode .... Themselves
  5. "Dinah!"
    ... aka Dinah! & Friends
        - Episode dated 17 September 1976 (1976) TV Episode .... Themselves

    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.
Discography - A Side / B Side
Label / Cat No.

Care For Me / Rosianna
Winterlude / Maybe Mexico
Chicken Bone Bone / Java Jive
Clap Your Hands / Sweet Talking Guy
Operator / Tuxedo Junction
Helpless / My Cat Fell In The Well
Chanson D’Amour / Poinciana
Don’t Let Go
Where Did Our Love Go / Single Girl
Walk In Love
On A Little Street In Singapore
Where Did Our Love Go / Je Voulais The Dire
It’s Not The Spotlight / Farm Brothers
Birdland / The Shaker Song
Nothing You Can Do About It / Wacky Dust
Twilight Zone / Twilight Zone / Body and Soul
Trickle Trickle / Foreign Affair
Boy From New York City / Confirmation
Smile Again / Until I Met You
Spies In The Night / Kafka
Rout 66 / On The Boulevard
Spice Of Life / The Night The Monk Returned To Heaven
American Pop / Why Not
Baby Come Back To Me / That’s The Way It Goes
Mystery / Goodbye Love

Cap 2968
Cap 3036
Cap 3108
Atln 3277
Atln 3292
Atln 3349 
Atln 3374
Atln 3472
Atln 3491
Atln 3636
Atln 3756
Atln 3649
Atln 3772
Atln 3816
Atln 3855
Atln 3877 
Atln 4034
Atln 7-89786
Atln 7-89720
Atln 89594
Atln 89695


Copyright Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation. All Rights Reserved.