Music Sheet: Cuba Gooding Continues His Musical Legacy




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Phyllis Pollack

Everybody plays the fool sometimes, but not Cuba Gooding. Having just completed a successful national tour, Gooding is on top of things now as much as ever. With his new release "Begin With the Family" (Irie Records). Gooding is poised to bring his distinct vocal style to fans anxious to hear what he has to offer.

With over 40 years of singing under his belt, Gooding continues to thrill audiences around the world with his smooth, captivating voice, all the while remaining a solid part of the musical consciousness of Main Ingredient fans and as the proud father of Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr.

Gooding's popularity throughout the years continues into the hip-hop generation as his vocals were sampled by five-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys on her smash single, "You Don't Know My Name."

In addition to Keys, Gooding has been sampled by Jay-Z, Cam'Ron, Notorious B.I.G. and Da Lench Mob, and others. Having achieved chart-topping singles with Main Ingredient, including "Everybody Plays the Fool," "Just Don't Want to be Lonely," and many more. Gooding continues his rich musical legacy with "Begin With the Family," which contains an updated and revamped remake of his biggest hit, "Everybody Plays the Fool." It is a statement that Gooding says is more applicable to human beings today than it was yesterday. "I decided to add the love of God to it, and to make it an inspirational tune, as a message to folks who might have problems. With the help of God, we can survive."

Many of the album's sentiments are often smooth and romantic. On "Never Gave Up," Gooding sings of his love interest, "She needed a partner, not a king, she is the smartest woman I've ever known." Other songs for which he wrote lyrics include, "I Like It" and "Finally," a song celebrating love and trust in a relationship after having overcome bad times and strife. The smooth, caressing sensuality of "Never the Less" shows why Gooding has maintained a tenacious fan base.

"Begin With the Family's" title track speaks of morality in society, and asks, "When do we see it begins with your family? Never hesitate protecting humanity. Love one another. When will you see it begins with your family?"

Gooding has toured the world extensively, and has shared the marquee with the very best names in the music business. But he is also extremely proud of his son’s success. Cuba Gooding Jr. won an Oscar for his role in the 1996 movie, Jerry Maguire, and his sibling, Omar Gooding, starred in the 2003 critically acclaimed sport drama Playmakers. And, although Gooding's first love is music, he has appeared in two feature films, Children of the Struggle, and Gedo.

"I feel that 'Begin With the Family' will reconnect me with fans from the past, as well as bring new fans into my fold," Gooding says. "I put my trust in God, and he has guided me to give my very best. It's my most personal album ever, one that many people have had a hand in seeing to its completion. I want people to be proud and eager to listen to the message in each song, and to take a little bit into their lives in order to make this world a better place." The message is simple: "Begin With the Family."


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