The boy band, whose bio hits stores Tuesday, was initially marketed to a surprising audience, wrote “Hangin’ Tough” with a sports team in mind and employed a future “American Idol” judge as a backup dancer.
Attention Blockheads: The authorized biography of New Kids on the Block hits bookstores Tuesday.’
The book, titled New Kids on the Block: Five Brothers and a Million Sisters, traces the Boston-based boy band’s rise to become arguably the biggest recording act of the late ’80s/early 90s to their breakup a few years later to their reunion in 2008 and their joining forces with Backstreet Boys for a wildly successful summer 2011 tour.
Author Nikki Van Noy interviews all five members of NKOTB — Donnie Wahlberg, brothers Jordan and Jon Knight, Joe McIntyre and Danny Wood — along with several fans, although songwriter-producer Maurice Starr, who created NKOTB but later parted ways with the group, isn’t quoted here. The bio, from Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone Books, retails for $25.
Here are eight things revealed in the 256-page tome.
1. Because of their R&B sound, NKOTB was initially promoted to black radio stations.
According to the book, a “great misconception” about the group is that record label execs created the group to fill a void in the marketplace for young white girls. But, as Jordan Knight says, the strategy simply arose because of Starr’s connections in the black market.” “Even when we went to CBS, we were in the black division,” he adds. “No one ever thought, ‘Um, these kids are white. Maybe white kids would like ’em too.”
2. The turning point for the group came when Randy Kabrich, a DJ at Q105 in Tampa, Fla., discovered “Please Don’t Go Girl.”
The song went on to become the station’s No. 1 most requested at the time, which prompted the record label to change its marketing strategy to begin targeting pop radio.
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