Sunday, 10 May 2009

GENE CHANDLER - THE DUKE OF EARL (VEE JAY 1962) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 5 bonus

Gene Chandler esteemed by soul fans as one of the leading exponents of the 1960s Chicago soul scene, along with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler. His signature hit is the #1 Billboard Hot 100 chart song, "Duke of Earl" (1962). Chandler wrote and performed many more songs, and collaborated with many of the greats in the soul and R&B world.In 1957 he joined a doo-wop group called The Dukays with James Lowe, Shirley Jones, Earl Edwards and Ben Broyles, quickly becoming their lead singer. He was drafted by the U.S. Army to Germany for three years, returned to Chicago in 1960, and rejoined his bandmates. Through music industry contacts, the Dukays were offered a recording contract by the Chicago based Nat Records. The first single was titled "The Girl Is a Devil." In 1961, Nat Records released a song titled "Nite Owl", and the band went back to the recording studio to record once more.
At the time, Nat Records wanted to release the new song "Duke of Earl", but was unable to. An executive with Vee-Jay Records, Calvin Carter, heard the song and wanted it for distribution as a song on his record label, but only as a Gene Chandler record. Vee-Jay was not interested in The Dukays.
Meanwhile, the previously recorded "Nite Owl" was on the charts, putting Chandler in a dilemma. He thus recorded with The Dukays under the name 'Gene Dixon' and recorded solo as 'Gene Chandler'.
When VeeJay was finally able to release "Duke of Earl", it sent it out as by Chandler, even though the Dukays had recorded it. The song sold a million copies in just over one month. "The Duke" was born. Chandler can be seen in the full 'Duke' outfit singing "The Duke of Earl" in the 1962 movie, Don't Knock the Twist, starring Chubby Checker.
After spending three weeks at number one on the Billboard Magazine charts, Chandler got a cape, a monocle, a top hat and a cane. He simply became "The Duke of Earl" and his concerts drew a large crowd. Occasionally he would come out for an encore, usually "Rainbow." "Rainbow" was one of Chandler's collaborations with Curtis Mayfield, and the only song Chandler has ever recorded three times. Each time the song has been re-recorded, it became a hit all over again...[net]


Anonymous said...

Fantastic looking blog with great notes. Looking forward to future posts.

troods said...

Gene Chandler is always welcome in any collection. He managed to survive so many trends, and did well in all. Great album. Can't wait to listen. Thank you so much.

MumCure said...

Great record by a wonderful singer. Really good job, many thanks for this.

JDT said...

Thank you, very much =) This is not a record you're really going to find anywhere else =) Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Very nice. Thank You

Flex said...

Thanks for the great blog. Learned a lot. Happy New year to you and yours.