Cuba Gooding Sr.
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|Cuba Gooding Sr.|
Gooding at a performance in San Diego, California, September 25, 2008
|Born||(1944-04-27)April 27, 1944
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 20, 2017(2017-04-20) (aged 72)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
|Children||4 including Cuba Jr. and Omar|
|Parent(s)||Dudley MacDonald Gooding
|Birth name||Cuba M. Gooding|
|Associated acts||The Main Ingredient, Stevie Wonder|
Cuba Gooding Sr. (April 27, 1944 – April 20, 2017) was an American singer and actor. He was the lead singer of the soul group The Main Ingredient, most notable for its two biggest hits, “Everybody Plays the Fool” (1972) and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely” (1974).
He had a brief solo career on Motown Records during the late-1970s and early-1980s. His biggest international success was Brian Auger‘s “Happiness Is Just Around the Bend” in 1983, which has in recent times been sampled by several R&B artists, as well as hitting the charts again as a remix by UK Hardcore Rave group Altern-8 in 1991. In the same year, samples from the song also featured prominently in Bizarre Inc‘s single “Playing With Knives”.
Life and career
Born in New York City, Gooding was a son of Dudley MacDonald Gooding and his wife Addie Alston. The elder Gooding was a native of Barbados who fled the island in 1936 to Cuba, and met and married a woman there. When she was murdered because of their affiliation with Pan Africanist leader Marcus Garvey, Dudley Gooding promised his wife on her deathbed that he would name his first son Cuba. His father died when Cuba was 11 years old.
Gooding and his wife, singer Shirley Gooding (née Sullivan) had four children: actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Omar Gooding, April Gooding and musician Tommy Gooding. Gooding Sr. later became a minor actor himself. Gooding Sr. separated from his wife in 1974. In 1995, the Goodings remarried, some 21 years after having separated and divorced. In one of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s movies (Radio), there is a scene where “Radio” is listening to The Main Ingredient.
Gooding released a single called “Politics” in September 2007. He was also developing a film project called Everybody Plays the Fool: The Cuba Gooding Story. The film highlights three generations of the Gooding Family: Dudley “Cuba” Gooding, Cuba Gooding Sr., Cuba Gooding Jr. and Omar Gooding.
Cuba was added by popular demand to the Beach Music Super Collaboration CD, performing the Charles Wallert composition, “Meant To Be In Love”. This led to the duo’s project, “Never Give Up” (Bluewater Recordings), which debuted at the 2009 presidential inauguration.
On April 20, 2017, one week before his 73rd birthday, Gooding was found dead in his vehicle while parked on a street in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. CPR was performed by the fire department but they were unable to revive him. Police believe he died from a suspected drug overdose.