*Cuba Gooding, Sr., long-time lead vocalist of the Grammy-nominated R&B/pop ensemble, The Main Ingredient, refutes all recent alleged claims made by Reginald Lewis, or anyone else, that he disappeared and made off with a “bunch of cash” from a planned Christmas charity benefit in December, 2013 that never got off the ground.
Gooding said that he agreed to work with Lewis for the purpose of presenting a benefit concert for Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) in Baltimore. Gooding further said the $7,000 in question was paid to him by Lewis to help organize the charity concert, as well as to perform at the event.
However, after both men realized that it was not possible to get the additional financial resources needed to properly present such a concert, Gooding and Lewis agreed to do the concert in the future, or for Gooding to perform in Baltimore at another venue. Lewis agreed for Gooding to keep the money as a retainer for the future booking. Organizing another concert in Baltimore, however, has been difficult for both parties to do so far. Gooding has good intention, however, of doing the concert for KKI and wants to do it in 2015. He has commitments from some of the 70s artists that he wants to use in concert, but needs firm dates to move forward with bookings.
“If Lewis wants the money back,” Gooding says, “he (Lewis) will further slowdown the process started. If he does that, he is ultimately depriving KKI of reaping the monetary benefits that this type of concert will bring to the institute. Reginald Lewis should not wake up one morning and decide he wants his money back, after agreeing with me to work together and eventually make the benefit concert a reality. I feel that Lewis is the one trying to impede what I want to do to help KKI…and that’s not right.”
Gooding says that this agreement to do the concert in the future was acceptable to both him and Lewis at the time, and if there was a problem, Lewis knew how to get in contact with him, but has never reached out.
“I don’t know why he would want to go to the media with such untrue claims, when he has my phone number and address if he thought there was a problem with what we agreed on at the time,” said Gooding. “My contact information is on the deal memo/ agreement that he and I signed. After the concert did not happen, he and I agreed that the $7,000 would be for a future concert of some sort. There was no time table put on when it would happen.”
Gooding contends that Lewis is just trying to gain publicity and is out to embarrass him by making such erroneous claims, which are categorically untrue. Gooding says that he is ready to perform either way, and invites Lewis to contact him to discuss a future performance.
In the meantime, Gooding, 70, is as busy as ever, and is not in hiding. He and his group continues to perform around the country, where they sing their mega-hit, Everybody Plays the Fool, as well as other classic hit songs such as Just Don’t Want to be Lonely, Rolling Down a Mountain Side, Happiness is Just Around the Bend, I’m so Proud, Spinning Around, You’ve Been My Inspiration, and more…
As the former pitchman for Time Life’s Sweet Soul of the ‘70s national and international infomercials, Gooding is considered the ambassador of this genre of music. Additionally, he recently starred in a stage play.
“There’s been no shortage of work,” said Gooding. “Hopefully, Reginald Lewis can organize the benefit concert at Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2015 so that I can perform along with other Sweet Soul of 70s artists. That way, we can both move beyond this.”