EditorialFor the love of music


For when you’re feeling social


Kelly Patterson

January 24, 2017

I didn’t grow up to the groups Jackson 5, The Sylver’s or The Osmond’s. The boy band craze started for me with, New Edition, comprised of five little brown boys who hailed from Orchard Park projects in the Roxbury section of Boston. I remember staring at the cover art on their 1983 debut classic album Candy Girl with other wide-eyed girls in my neighborhood. Everyone had their favorite member and to be a real fan you had to have their posters plastered across your bedroom walls and know all the words to every song… I was a real fan!!! To my delight, tonight BET will air the first of a three-part mini-series titled The New Edition Story written by Abdul Williams and directed by Chris Robinson. It will detail the breakout success of the R&B group, originally, made up of Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivens and Ronnie DeVoe. Much later, R&B crooner, Johnny Gill would be added to the group to replace Bobby Brown until an ultimate reunion of all six members.

I’m confident the story will truthfully cover their accelerated rise to fame as well as the turbulent times as each member has signed on as co-producers of the series. It would also be interesting to see if they cover how each member also enjoyed solo success because you definitely shouldn’t do this story without mentioning Bobby Brown’s crowning as the king of R&B and the formation of the group BBD that showcased the hip-hop leanings of Bell, Bivens and DeVoe. Over the past few decades, New Edition, would enjoy numerous hits ranging from “Candy Girl,” “Cool It Now,” “Is This The End,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “Count Me Out” to “If it Isn’t Love,” “Can you Stand the Rain?” “I’m Still In love With You,” and many more. They were notorious for bringing back smooth vocals and smooth moves that defined the Motown era before them. They laid the groundwork and designed the blueprint for boy bands after them to follow such as New Kids on the Block, Boys II Men, Hi-Five, Jodeci, Dru Hill, NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys and countless others. I am certainly hopeful and looking forward to a fitting tribute that will honor their legacy!

The full cast line-up can be viewed here: