1988 New Kids on the Block – Please Don’t Go Girl
Larry Curtis Johnson was in a funk/R&B band from the mid-seventies to 1980. He adopted the stage name Maurice Starr and began a solo career as a singer, songwriter, and producer. After a few failed albums, he began working to create and produce bands.
Maurice began hosting talent nights at Boston’s Strand Theatre, offering a cash prize and a recording contract. One group of singers that came in second impressed him enough that he recorded an album with them, and that launched New Edition into stardom in 1983. Maurice co-wrote and co-produced their first album.
After the album spawned three top ten singles, the New Edition broke away from Maurice, and he began recruiting teenage singers to create a white boy band.
They recruited fifteen-year-old Donnie Wahlberg when he showed some rapping skills. Two of Donnie’s schoolmates (Jordan Knight and Danny Wood) joined the group, followed by Jordan’s older brother, Jonathan. The last member of the lineup became Joey McIntyre, who was only 12 years old.
The band signed with Columbia Records and recorded their first album in 1986. The first two singles failed to catch on, and the band insisted that their music have a harder edge (the first album was mostly bubble gum music).
The video for their first single from the second album did little to help get the record on the charts in early 1988, and Columbia announced plans to end their contract with NKOTB.
It was a radio station in Florida that came to their rescue. That station began playing the song in heavy rotation, building up demand from listeners. This caused Columbia to rethink their approach to the group, and they shot a second video to promote the single: Please Don’t Go Girl.
The new improved video helped the band’s image, and suddenly they were on the charts nationally.
The single reached #10 on the Hot 100 in the Fall of 1988 (although it did not finish as one of the top 100 records of the year).
Maurice recruited a band to play behind the singers and landed them a spot as the warm-up act for Tiffany’s national tour.
As a result, the band’s next single reached #3 on the Hot 100. In 1989, the band scored two chart-topping singles and three more top ten hits.
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