Thursday, October 6, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 10/06/2016 Update

Today, we return to our 1967's Super Soulsters' Deep Cuts Review mix, and listen to There Is, which was an absolute career-changer for one of the most enduring vocal groups of the last half-century, The Dells.

By 1966, the future Hall of Famers and Harvey, Illinois-born Dells had already been scoring modest hits on the R&B charts and touring for thirteen years.  After a '66 tour serving as Ray Charles' backing vocalists ended and their label at that moment, Vee-Jay, went bankrupt, they returned to Chess Records for a third time, this time under sub-label Cadet, and were introduced to producer/songwriter Bobby Miller and arranger Charles Stepney.

The pairing would prove near miraculous.

There Is, the lead single (a Miller song the group initially hated) from their late 1967 album of the same name, became their first ever top-20 hit on the pop charts.

There Is the album would spawn three other major charters as well, including the six-and-a-half-minute Stay In My Corner, and catapult The Dells into the top echelon of the R&B world, where they remained, delivering hit after hit, until they left Cadet and moved to Mercury in 1975 and their career began to cool.

The band did remain active though well into the 2000s, scoring another hit in 1980 and then again in 1991 with A Heart Is A House For Love from the soundtrack to director Robert Townsend's The Five Heartbeats (a film loosely based on the career of The Dells and for which they served as primary musical consultants), making the The Dells one of only two recording acts in history to land songs on the singles charts in five different decades.

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