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Cuba Gooding Sr. and the test of time

Ron Scott | 10/4/2012, 2:58 p.m.

"I always wanted to be an entertainer, and living in Harlem gave me a glimpse of all the greats, and seeing them perform at the Apollo was the real treat," stated Gooding. "The melody and lyric was more important than anything else for me. The music wasn't categorized, it was just popular music. I want everyone to enjoy my music." Gooding was a known solo vocalist before he joined the Main Ingredient in the early '70s.

Today, most young aspiring singers set their sights on getting on "American Idol," but that is a tough route. During the 1950s, '60s and '70s, young singers got their starts on shows like "American Bandstand," "Soul Train," "Hit Parade," "Ed Sullivan" and "Dinah Shore."

Although those doors have closed and the shows are long gone, technology has led young singers and musicians to another realm of producing and recording live on YouTube, setting up Facebook pages and texting. Gooding has joined the crowd with his website, www.cuba-gooding.com. You can also go to YouTube and check out videos of him and the Main Ingredient.

To some who think Gooding looks very familiar, it might be because of his Oscar-winning son, Cuba Gooding Jr. Ironically, the two look more like brothers than father and son. In Gooding Jr.'s movie "Radio," there is a scene where his character is listening to the Main Ingredient. His younger son Omar Gooding is also an actor, and they all have that big, warm Gooding smile.

Gooding's advice to aspiring singers is, "Every time you record music, make it sound good with a good story that people can understand--positive and meaningful. Make sure you are doing quality music that can last the ages."

Gooding's music has stood the test of time and is still inspiring young singers and musicians. Currently, Gooding continues to perform throughout the country as a solo artist and with the Main Ingredient. He is also working on a film project and recording is always on the sound board.