a dawn of a new decade enters, music listeners experienced a new
change take place in music. Even in the career of the Dells, as their
producer, Bobby Miller, would soon move on to the Motown label in 1970
and the tape company, GRT (General Recorded Tape), would take over Chess
after it's owners Leonard & Phil Chess, sold the company for 6.5
million, in 1969.In the month of October 69', Leonard Chess would die of a heart
In 1970, Charles Stepney would step in as the Dells new producer /
and two new releases, " Oh What A Day" (No 10 R&B Singles )
"Open Up My Heart / Nadine" ( No 5 R&B ), including a LP, "
Like It Is, Like It
Was", ( No 7 R&B LP), would keep the group hitbound. A year later
in 1971, the
Dells would record, a beautiful whispery ballad entitled, " The
Love We Had (Stays
On My Mind)" (No 8 R&B Singles), from their " Freedom Means"
LP. In 1972, the group would dedicate the works of Dionne Warwick in an LP
Dells Sing Dionne Warwick". This is a very underrated album which
consider not their best work. I think they are wrong. The Dells
version of, "A House
Is Not A Home", is the finest piece work I've ever listen to !!!
Marvin Junior puts
his heart into the song, as it's soars into a climatic ecstasy !!!
The rest of the LP
is excellent, although no hits were made from the LP. Another LP, "
Funk Can Be", did pretty good on the R&B LP charts as well
(hitting No 33), but
they needed a spark in their faltered material. Marvin Schlater, who
president of Chess Records in 1971, teamed the Dells with legendary
producer / songwriter, Don Davis. Don had a track record of success
acts as, The Dramatics, J.J Barnes, Carla Thomas,
and Johnny Taylor.
also add the Dells to his roster because he wrote and produce the
certified million seller, '"Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation",
(hitting No 3 R&B
Singles) including a successful LP of the same title, which hit (No 10
R&B LP). In
1974, they would score again with brown album as I title it, " The
release two more outstanding cuts, " I Miss You" ( No 8 R&B) and "My
Days Are Over", ( No 10 R&B). On the back of the LP, are the words of
each of the
songs. Afterwards, "The Mighty Mighty Dells" album was also
released and one
single, " Leaning To Love You Was Easy ( It's So Hard Trying To Get
climbed to (No 11), in the summer of 74'. The Dells were hitmakers
again !!! The
year 1975, would be their last at Chess because it began to decline
last LP, " The Dells Vs The Dramatics", another fine album,
produced yet another
beautiful ballad entitled, " Love Is Missing From Our Lives", (
hitting No 46 R&B).
The LP itself would hit (No 31). As the end of great musical era
would come, Chess Records would close it's doors, in August of 75'.
Sylvia & Joe Robinson of All Platinum Records in Englewood, New
Jersey, would purchase all of the Chess
masters, for nearly a million dollars and 3 years later, release a 3
compilation LP entitled, " Memories Of Pillow Talk", in 1978.
It was advertised on
television, and sold nearly a half million copies ! The album
features some songs
from the Chess songbook and Sylvia's own Turbo and Vibration labels. I
pensive bedroom look she possesses on the front cover of the LP. The
then sign to a new company, Mercury Records. 3 LP's entitled, " No
(No. 47 R&B ) 1975 , "Love Connection" ( No 45 R&B) 1977 and
" They Said It
Couldn't Be Done, But We Did It", ( No 40 R&B) also in 1977, were
latter album produced an LP cut called, " God Help Those Who Help
which became extremely popular in the dance clubs !!! The company of
couldn't handle a class act like the Dells, so they later signed with
in 1978. Two albums, "New Beginnings" ( No 55 R&B LP) and "Face
To Face", (No 71 R&B LP), did poorly. Their next stint was on the 20th Century
1980. There they would team with the great singer / songwriter and
Eugene Record ( lead singer of the Chi-Lites) and would write and
produce the group's top twenty hit, "I Touched A Dream", ( No
17 R&B Singles). The LP of the
same title would fare better at No 23 on the album charts. In 1981,
The Dells would
re-record for the 3rd time, their masterpiece, "Stay In My Corner".
This is where
lead singer Marvin Junior, holds his note for nearly two minutes more
than the 68'
version !! Although they stayed active in the business by touring
around the world
throughout the years. it wasn't until 1989-90, when movie actor /
Townsend, wanted to do a movie based on a non-fiction R&B 60's group
The Five Heartbeats, in which he called the Dells for advise. The
group not only
became the technical advisors of the movie but the most of the story
as a biography, based on the story of their musical journey as a group
song from the soundtrack of the movie of the same title, "A Heart
Is A Heart For
Love", would rejuvenate the group's career by hitting (No 13 on
the R&B Singles)
charts !!!!! A total masterpiece !! The Dells were once again back
!!! 9 years later
in 2002, the group would create a wonderful organization called, "
Open Your Heart
Foundation", for forgotten 9/11 victims and their families. I would
hear of this
organization through a wonderful website called Soul-Patrol, from Bob
brother Mike Davis, who both created the SP site. I dee jayed that
event. And now onward to Monday, March 15, 2004, the Dells finally
got their musical due by being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of
Fame !!!! I would also like to add that one of the members of the
Dells, Johnny Carter, was inducted twice, as a former member of the
March of 2001, along with Tommy Hunt and Terry "Buzzy" Johnson !!!
Many groups come and go in the long run, but the Dells manage to stay
in the race
for 52 years, without tiring out !!!! Congratulations fellas !!! All
of your hard work
and efforts. paid off very handsomely !! And now you can finally ride
and sing those
wonderful colorful rainbows into a beautiful musical sunset !!!!
(Chancellor of Soul)
Material should not be used without the expressed
permission of the writer, Mike Boone (Chancellor of Soul)