Before joining NE Ralph use to like
to catch butterflies and ride his bike with his best friend and
schoolmate, LeBaron, around Orchard Park housing complex, that
were three story brick buildings. Ralph lived at 8 Adams St.
Ralph met Ricky first, they were both
members of the Celtics, a basketball team in the Orchard Park
Ralph and Ricky starred in the school
play Death After School where Ricky, the play's villain attacked
Ralph after school. Ralph was stabbed by Ricky in that play. Ricky
and Ralph joined a marching band in which they were asked to audition
and without the knowledge of each other Ricky and Ralph actually
performed the same routine, but at different times. They also
joined a drill team together. After practice one day they sung
an a cappella version of Michael Jackson's song 'Rock With You,'
the drill team captain asked them if they wanted to make a record,
of course they said "sure." Going to the many practices,
however, no record was ever made.
Ralph and Ricky began playing at talent
and fashion shows around Roxbury, located in the south end of
Bobby and Ralph met in grammar school,
Bobby's nickname was 'Flash'
because he admired Grandmaster Flash, a New York DJ at the time.
Bobby is also the youngest member of NE.
Bobby and Ralph deejayed together. Once
deejaying at Dealborn Middle School's halloween party. They all
attended different public schools,
Ralph, South Boston High
Ronnie, Newton North High
Mike, Belmont High
Ricky, Madison Park High
Bobby, Dealborn Middle School
Ralph and Ron were not in the original
version of NE, the original members were Ricky, Bobby, and Michael,
headed by Brooke Payne, who was Ron DeVoe's uncle. It was basically
Bobby and Mike's idea to put the group together, which they thought
would only go as far as just being in Boston.
From 1978-79 those three members performed
around Boston. But they didn't really go anywhere with it. They
tried again in 1981, but this time when Bobby and Mike came to
tell Ricky there was practice the next day, Ralph was playing
ball with Ricky and Ralph asked what the practice was for. Ricky
told Ralph about the group, and that they were looking for a fourth
guy and that's how Ralph joined in. They looked for records
to perform at the local talent show at Bobby's sister Betty's
performed a song called 'Holding On' by LTD. Ronnie was already
in a group called the Dramatics and was recruited to the group.
Ronnie was quiet. Travis Gresham, who was a manager of Ralph and Ricky, choreographed
the dance steps in the beginning. They performed around Boston.
Maurice Starr and his brother Michael
Johnson had a recording studio called the House of Hits in Roxbury.
NE got their big break at a Hollywood Talent Night, a contest
held at the Strand theater. NE performed 'Stop! The Love You Save'
by the Jackson Five, but they only came in second place. But Maurice
Starr liked them and begun working with them at the House of Hits
on a song that took two years to produce.......'Candy Girl.' But,
in 1982 the major record labels weren't interested and it seemed
as if all was done and over, but finally, Arhur Baker, a New York
based producer, became excutive producer of 'Candy Girl,' which
went on to be released in March of 1983. 'Candy Girl' went to
number one on the Black music charts in the U.S., the pop chart
in Canada and the United Kingdom. It was also a hit in Germany.
In August of 1983 New Edition signed
with Jump and Shoot Productions and left Streetwise Records and
signed with MCA in 1984. They went on to do a series of different
projects including but not limited to Coca Cola commercials, appearances
on Hollywood Squares, guest appearances on the sitcom Knight Rider
in which they did a car wash scene, and Star Search. Also, Ralph
and Ricky wrote songs including 'School', 'Good Boys' and also
writing their first song outside the album called 'My First Kiss'
for a young 12 or 13 year old girl named Shanice Wilson. They
also have a few songs many don't know about because they were
not on the albums which are 'Good Boys,' 'Goldmine,' 'Helplessly
In Love', 'Sneakin' Around,' and 'Once in the Lifetime Groove.'
Not to mention the many soundtracks NE and their branches have
And through it all New Edition went
on to win a court battle for the name New Edition.
Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph, and
Johnny, all part of the sensational group called New Edition!!
As stated earlier, with the release
of Candy Girl in 1983, there were five members, Ronnie, Bobby,
Ricky, Mike and Ralph. After the departure of Bobby Brown in the
mid 80's the group took on Johnny Gill as a fifth member. Their
hits continued to top the charts with songs such as 'Can You Stand
the Rain' and 'N.E. Heartbreak', while Bobby was pursuing solo
success with releases such as 'Don't Be Cruel' and 'My Prerogative'.
Soon after other members embarked on solo projects like Johnny
Gill. Ronnie, Ricky, and Mike formed the well known mental hip
hop on a R&B tip appeal to it group called Bell Biv DeVoe,
Tresvant also went on to release his much loved self entitled
Tresvant' and also 'It's Goin' Down'.
As the years passed, many NE fans were
wishing for a reunion, according to NE they had not broken up
but were just on an hiatus, and this proved true! In 1996 the
six man strong reunion of New Edition released a soon to become
triple platinum CD entitled 'Home Again'. For their long time
fans it was so good to have them 'Home Again, back where they
Now once again the members of NE are
off doing solo projects. But are planning to come together once
Their tightly choreographed steps and
mesmerizing vocals has put New Edition into a category all its
own, not many groups have survived and done what they have done!!
New Edition!!! A phenomenal group that
went their separate ways, also being successful, and after a few
years came back together making the magic that they are so well
known for. Still topping the charts and capturing the hearts of
a whole new group of fans, along with their already long time
admirers who adore them.
I hope I was able to add a little more
recognition to them, giving them the respect they so deserve!!
Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph, and
Johnny, I applaud you!!