The father of Arthur “Pooch”, Antone “Chubby”, Feliciano “Butch” and Perry Lee “Tiny” Tavares, was a multi-talented musician with a passion for Wes Montgomery and Jimmy McGriff, who played guitar and sang in small clubs in the Tavares hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Their oldest brother John, kindled his siblings interest in the tight, fluid singing of R&B harmony groups. It had been John’s idea to form a group (originally called The Del Rios) in 1962 with Ralph, Pooch and Chubby. When John dropped out, Butch joined and when Pooch had a minor operation, Tiny replaced him. After Pooch returned to the group, the brothers couldn’t tell Tiny to leave, so they turned their quartet into a quintet, changed their name to Chubby and the Turnpikes and soon to just The Turnpikes.
In 1971, they did a nine week tour with Lola Falana in Italy. The Italians had difficulty with Turnpikes, so the brothers decided to use their family name and soon became known as Tavares all over Europe. After the tour they returned to the States began singing in New England clubs and were signed to Capitol Records in 1973. Their debut album, Check It Out, was issued in early 1974.
The title track slow jam single went to number five R&B on Billboard’s charts in summer 1973. The next single, the ballad That’s The Sound That Lonely Makes, hit number ten R&B in early 1974. Check It Out was followed by Hard Core Poetry in summer 1974, helmed by song-writing/production duo Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter (the Four Tops’ Aint No Woman Like the One I Got). It listed the soaring number ten hit Too Late, the number one hit She’s Gone and Remember What I Told You To Forget, which hit number four in 1975. Lambert & Potter produced In The City, which yielded the driving number one hit It Only Takes A Minute, Free Ride (a 1973 pop smash for the Edgar Winter Group), and The Love I Never Had. Take That’s 1993 cover of It Only Takes a Minute was a U.K. hit. Tavares’ album Sky High (spring 1976) boasted the sparkling number three R&B hit Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel (Part 1) from summer 1976.
Their fifth LP, Love Storm was issued in spring 1977 and included the clever number one R&B hit Whodunitin spring 1977. More Than A Woman was specifically written for Tavares by the Bee Gees and was issued as a single from the 11-million-selling Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
1979’s Madame Butterfly LP, contained the sweet ballad Never Had A Love Like This Before that went to number five R&B in early 1979. In the early 1980s Ralph and Tiny parted from the group, but Pooch, Chubby and Butch continued as Tavares giving their fans and friends the best of Tavares with harmony and energy!!