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MP3 The Dells - Then & Now

The Dells are famous. We have our own sound.

9 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Rhythm & Blues, URBAN/R&B: Chicago Soul

The stature of The Dells as a magnificent musical Chicago landmark stands taller than the Sears Tower. They’ve been singing together for a truly staggering 56 years, with the longest-surviving personnel in the world. Formed way back in Spring 1952 by lead baritone Marvin Junior, second tenor Verne Allison, baritone Michael (Mickey) McGill, Bass vocalist Chuck Barksdale, and original lead tenor Johnny Funches, the group’s line-up has only changed once in 1961, when Johnnie Carter of The Flamingos replaced Funches, who quit after six years to spend more time with his family.

Between 1956 and 1992, The Dells racked up an astonishing 46 hits on the United States R&B charts. Eight of these made the Pop Top Forty. Doo Wop, Jazz, Soul, Funk, Blaxploitation, Disco, R&B, they’ve done it all, yet they continue to perform their magnificent catalog of songs to an ever-growing legion of fans, guaranteeing the group their very own special place in musical history.

Recognizing their half-century together, The Dells were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in March 2004. (Johnnie Carter was inducted as a former member of The Flamingos in 2001). In addition The Dells are the recipients of the Pioneer Hall Of Fame Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation; a 1991 NAACP Image Award, The Soul Of American Music Award; the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame 2004 induction; The NARAS Governor’s Award; the Jackie Award; and many other music industry and achievement awards. Robert Townsend’s movie “The 5 Heartbeats” was based on the tumultuous career of The Dells.

In 2005, The Dells picked up an Emmy Award for their Documentary Oh What A Night, which scored in the category for Outstanding Achievement for Documentary Programs – Document of Cultural Significance. Produced by Chicago’s Channel 5, this 30-minute feature details plenty of fascinating background information about this record-breaking soul outfit.

After a phenomenal 56 years together, The Dells survive intact to the present day and continue to perform regularly around the world Bass vocalist Chuck Barksdale is 73 (born January 11 1935), lead baritone Marvin Junior is 72 (born January 31, 1936), baritone Mickey McGill is 71 (born February 17, 1937), lead Johnnie Carter is74 (born June 2, 1933), while second tenor Verne Allison is 71(born June 22, 1936), giving the group a combined age of 361 years. “I love these guys, “Mickey McGill smiles. “We’re like brothers.

Soul music doesn’t get any better than this.
"Long Live".....The Mighty Dells
David Yeats, April 2008

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