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The Dells


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The Dells are one of the longest standing R&B groups; formed in 1952 in Chicago, Illinois, and still going as of 2006. Moreover, the membership of the band has stayed the same since 1960.

One of the few doo-wop groups to successfully update its sound, the Dells enjoyed most success in the late 1960s and 1970s as a soul music group with songs like “Oh, What a Night”, “Stay in my Corner” and “Give your Baby a Standing Ovation” which was their only million-seller. The band acted as a consultant for a 1991 film about a fictional vocal group called The Five Heartbeats and they had a surprise hit from the soundtrack “The Heart is a House for Love”. Their revived popularity caught the attention of NBC producer Roger Brown who featured them in a segment on “The Today Show” that same year.

As well as their recording career, the band also worked with Dinah Washington and Ray Charles as backup singers during the 1960s. They can also be heard singing the catchy background vocals on Barbara Lewis’ “Hello Stranger”. One of the members, Chuck Barksdale, was temporarily a member of the Moonglows with a young Marvin Gaye in the late 1950s. Falsetto tenor Johnny Carter was once a member of The Flamingos.

Two of their songs, “Wear It On Our Face” and “Run For Cover” are very popular on the Northern Soul circuit.

The Dells grew up in Harvey, Illinois and began singing together while attending Thornton Township High School.


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  • BJBooth

    Thanks for the lifetime of memories, say hi to the gang, Marvin

    31 May 2013 Reply
  • MrStyle

    Rest In Peace Marvin Junior! That powerful baritone is tearing up Heaven, I'm sure!

    31 May 2013 Reply
  • Fullmettall

    Run For Cover

    29 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Yastrzemski

    MrStyle said it all below me. One of the greatest vocal groups ever, and certainly one of the most underrated.

    23 Jan 2011 Reply
  • MrStyle

    The baddest vocal group in music history! My goodness! These guys can SANG!

    28 Aug 2010 Reply
  • AbleBluenote

    wear it on my face....!!!! ;)

    30 Oct 2009 Reply
  • MrStyle

    Rest In Peace Johnny Carter, your music will live forever!

    22 Aug 2009 Reply

    Now that's what I'm talking about!!!

    11 Jul 2009 Reply
  • MrLondoner

    "Love is Blue" WOW.. just WOW

    5 May 2009 Reply
  • rosebudz

    oh what a night....

    14 Feb 2009 Reply
  • slopezunr

    is anybody interested in creating a music family? We can get together during the Holidays and just jam out to kickin' grooves!

    9 Dec 2008 Reply
  • epi_gee

    Friends in good music please join me on myspace : . Hope to see you there. - Epg

    24 Apr 2008 Reply
  • wastedish

    every one with a little soul should listen to you promised me

    18 Nov 2007 Reply
  • MrStyle

    The best group ever! Temptations...who?

    8 Dec 2006 Reply
  • c367dotcom

    This is one of the really greatest soul / doo wop / r&b groups ever. Oh! What A Night (The Great Ballads) is highly recommended.

    1 Apr 2006 Reply