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The Chantels

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The Chantels were the first black female group to have nationwide success. The group was established in the early 1950’s at St. Anthony of Padua school in the Bronx. The group consisted of Arlene Smith (lead), Sonia Goring, Rene Minus, Jackie Landry Jackson and Lois Harris. They got their name from a rival school, St. Frances de Chantal.

They were discovered by Richard Barrett, lead singer of the Valentines and eventually signed to End Records. Their first single was “He’s Gone” (Pop #71) in August 1957. In January 1958 they released their second single, “Maybe” (#15 Pop; #2 R&B). Several other singles were released on End, though none as successful as “Maybe.”

The group was dropped by End in 1959, and Arlene Smith decided to go solo. Lois left to pursue a college education. In 1960, Annette Smith (no relation) replaced Arlene and the group went to Carlton Records, where they had their second huge hit with “Look in My Eyes” (#14 pop, #6 R&B). Several other singles followed and the group switched labels several times. Personnel changed throughout the 60’s, with their final single released in 1970.

Arlene fronted a new group of Chantels in the 1970s for oldies shows and continues to perform. The remaining original Chantels reformed as well and hired Noemi (Ami) Ortiz as their new lead singer. Jackie Landry died in 1997.

The Chantels were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.

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  • THEWHOIS

    The song "May be" is freaking awesome! I felt in love!

    15 May 2013 Reply
  • Fullmettall

    I Can't Take It (There's Our Song Again) | I can't take no no no no no nooooooooooooooooooo

    23 Sep 2012 Reply
  • ChappyBob

    Hearing these songs again brings back so many good memories of the years of 1955-1961. I remember seeing the Chantels in person, along with my all time favorite Fats Domino, long live the fat man! I know that these are the ramblings of a rather old greaser war baby, but life was simpler and rock was perhaps a little easier on the ears, but it was surely it provided a platform for some of the greatest groups and individuals over the years. finally, they come and lock us up soon, one of my cd's is titled "Rock is Dead, But it Won't lie Down." later daddy-o and all you slick chicks. Bob the G, Arizona.

    28 Dec 2010 Reply
  • krambrose

    Angel Baby - my mom used to sing this to me when I was a baby. I love it. It really, just, touches my heart in the deepest most sincere way possible.

    2 Aug 2010 Reply
  • Bubimann

    very good music^^

    1 Jun 2010 Reply
  • bonnie_jamie

    Very important music.

    19 Jan 2010 Reply
  • jhem50

    Maybe this should have been the original...

    16 Dec 2008 Reply
  • awffle

    maybe if you stop listening to the dirty dancing soundtrack

    29 Apr 2008 Reply
  • martintxo

    you'll come back to meee, and maybe....

    17 Feb 2007 Reply