Marvin Junior, the long time surviving lead singer extraordinaire of the mighty, mighty Dells passed today (05-29-13). Unfortunately we don’t have any specific details of his death, but according to a May 23, 2013 report in the Soulful Detroit blog, Mr. Junior was reported to be very ill “and was not expected to be around much longer. The report also mentioned that another member of The Dells, Mr. Chuck Barksdale, was also very ill.
We’ll have more details as they become available. Follow story on twitter:blues2jazzguy Lead singer of The Dells, Marvin Junior‘s warm, earnest baritone vocals helped define the Harvey, IL, R&B/soul music group during its ’60s/’70s heyday (along with Johnny Carter’s mesmerizing falsetto). One example of his vocal prowess is his ability at holding a note, as heard on the 1968 remake of their own “Stay in My Corner.”
It’s no secret that producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff wanted Marvin Junior on their Philadelphia International Records label. When the group signed to Chess, they went with the similar-sounding Teddy Pendergrass. Gamble & Huff finally got to work with the Dells in 1992 on the I Salute You album.
Junior, along with the rest of the Dells, was a key influence on Robert Townsend in the making of his movie The Five Heartbeats. In the early ’50s, the group initially formed as the El Rays when the members were students at Thornton Township High School. The lineup was Marvin Junior, Johnny Funches, Verne Allison,Chuck Barksdale, Mickey McGill, and his brother Lucius. After doing their share of street-corner harmonizing, the vocal group auditioned for Leonard Chess of Chess Records in nearby Chicago. Their first release on Chess’ Checker imprint was the a cappella song “Darling I Know” with “Christine” on the flip side. The 45 was a small regional hit. Not long afterwards, Lucius McGill quit the group. Now a quintet, the group was taken under the wing of Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows who schooled the group on five-part vocal harmony. Watch/listen to a classic 1972 live performance of “Oh What A Night,” “Always Together” and “Stay In My Corner” by the Dells on the PBS show “Soul”:
#wingspan_With saddening news, I was informed by jazz insiders late this week regarding Jazz Pianist #Mulgrew Miller was rushed to an unnamed hospital after suffering a severe Stroke. Close friends and family are asking fans to keep Mulgrew in their prayers. No details were offered at this time. As more information becomes available,we will share that on this blog.
Musical Genius, Vocalist, Songwriter, Musician, Producer and our dear friend Clarence Burke Jr. of The First Family of Soul “The Five Stairsteps, The Stairsteps and The Invisible Man’s Band has taken his final step…
My heart is heavy, my tears are still flowing, and my eyes are swollen, from mourning the loss of our dear friend Clarence Burke Jr. All night I have been reflecting on conversations he and I shared over the last three years and although we did discuss the music, we mainly spoke about life. I have always loved, admired and respected this Giant’s body of work, however through those conversation I admired, loved and respected the man, Clarence Burke Jr.
I am trying to wrap my head around this tremendous loss to the music industry. I can’t begin to imagine what his family and close friends are going through at this time. They all are in my thoughts and prayers and have my deepest condolences.
The National R&B Music Society Inc.
It was announced by Robert J. Carmack ,the new relaunch date of Hipster Sanctuary originally scheduled for February of this year , that had to placed on hold until now ,due to an emergency life-threatning surgery procedure .Now that rehab is completed, this writer is chomping at the bit to get started. further announcements are forthcoming and all back-dated articles will be followed up and inserted.