They rose from the street corners of Providence to become world-renowned R&B superstars
From their earliest days in the Fox Point neighborhood of Providence, it was clear the seven Tavares brothers were born to make music. At first, they were guided by their dad, Feliciano “Flash” Tavares, the godfather of the Cape Verdean-American musical tradition in New England, but in the 1950s, the oldest son, John, began introducing the boys to the new Rhythm & Blues sounds springing up all over the country. Early incarnations of the group, The Del Rios and Chubby & The Realities, rose to the top of the local scene in the early ’60s. As Chubby & The Turnpikes, they were signed to Capitol Records in 1968 and began to attract national attention. Over the next four years, the act grew to include all six of the other brothers: Ralph, Arthur “Pooch,” Antone “Chubby,” Feliciano “Butch” Jr., Perry “Tiny” and Victor. After one final name change to simply Tavares, they returned to Capitol in 1973 and scored their first big hit, “Check It Out.” Victor dropped out at that time leaving the five remaining brothers to embark on a decade-long run at the top unparalleled in Rhode Island music history. With massive hits such as “She’s Gone,” “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel,” and “Whodunit,” the group were recognized as pioneers in the evolution of R&B from the Soul era into the modern Funk and Disco movements of the ’70s and ’80s. They placed eight singles on Billboard’s Top 40, 12 in the R&B Top 10 (including three #1 hits), three Dance Chart hits (two at #1), 10 hit LPs, and won a Grammy for “More Than A Woman,” their contribution to “Saturday Night Fever,” one of the best-selling albums of all time. At the time of their induction into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2014, Tavares remains a top international touring attraction with Chubby, Pooch, Butch and Tiny carrying on the tradition.