Woolworth promo for the New kids on the Block ‘Hanging Tough’ album.
New Kids on the Block (also known as NKOTB) is an American pop group that enjoyed success in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a boy band which went on to sell 80 million records world-wide. Assembled in Boston in 1984 by producer Maurice Starr, the members consist of brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. They won two American Music Awards in 1990 for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group and Favorite Pop/Rock Album.
After having disbanded in 1994, several attempts were made to get the group back together, all of them unsuccessful. They reunited in 2008 and took on a new style, released a new album, and embarked on a concert tour in the fall. The album, entitled The Block was released on September 2, 2008.
1984-1985: Early years
In the early 1980s, Maurice Starr discovered R&B/Pop quintet (later sextet) New Edition and guided their early success. After breaking ties with them, Starr and his business partner, Mary Alford, sought to create a white counterpart act. Auditions were held around Boston, at which some five hundred teenaged boys auditioned. Among them was 15-year-old Donnie Wahlberg, who immediately impressed Starr and Alford by his rapping skills, dancing ability and showmanship, becoming the group’s first member. Wahlberg assisted in helping to recruit other members. Among them were his younger brother Mark, and his best friend Danny Wood. He also coaxed one-time schoolmate Jordan Knight, who sang an exceptional falsetto, into auditioning as well. Upon Knight’s passing the audition, his older brother Jonathan (also possessing a strong singing voice) was accepted into the group as well
As the group began to take shape, Mark became disillusioned with its bubble gum direction, and opted to quit. Another one of Donnie’s neighborhood friends, Jaime Kelley, took his place. Kelley, though, would eventually be dismissed for lack of concentration and discipline. Seeking a Michael Jackson-esque singer to sing the high solos, Starr replaced him with 11-year-old Joey McIntyre—whom the other guys initially resented for being the one to replace their friend. With the final line-up in place Starr rehearsed the boys diligently, after school and on weekends, and eventually secured the group (which was being called Nynuk) a recording contract at Columbia Records. The label, however, demanded Starr change the name of the group. Subsequently they settled on New Kids on the Block, after a rap song that Donnie had written and arranged for their first album.
Info taken from Wikipedia