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The Lost Generation

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Chicago soul vocal group the Lost Generation had their biggest hit with “The Sly, Slick and the Wicked,” a mellow ballad that hit number 14 R&B and number 30 pop in the summer of 1970. The group members were lead singer/songwriter Lowrell Simon, Fred Simon, Jesse Dean, and Larry Brownlee. Brownlee had been a member of the singing group the C.O.D.’s, whose single on the local Kellimac label, “Michael (The Lover),” made it to number five R&B in 1965. Born March 18, 1943, on Chicago’s south side, Lowrell formed a childhood friendship with Gus Redmond. As a teenager, Lowrell was a member of the LaVondells, a vocal group. Dropping the first two letters from their name to become the Vondells, the group had a local hit with “Lenore” on the Marvello label. Soon afterward, the group broke up. One of the members, Glen Murdock, teamed with local singer Joyce Kennedy to sing lead vocals for the funk/rock group Mother’s Finest.

After Dean completed his stint in the Army, he joined Lowrell, Fred, and Brownlee in the Lost Generation. Childhood friend Redmond, who was now head of promotion and marketing for Brunswick Records, introduced the group to producer Carl Davis in 1969. The single “The Sly, Slick and the Wicked” was co-written by Lowrell, Brownlee, and Redmond. The hit tied for trade publication Record World’s 1970 Record of the Year award with the Jackson 5’s “ABC.” The release also generated enough money for Brunswick to buy itself out from its owner, Decca Records. On the flip side was “You’re So Young but You’re So True.” The next single, “Wait a Minute,” was written by the Chi-Lites’ Eugene Record.

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