Gene Chandler

R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Eugene Dixon – better known as Gene Chandler – was born on July 6, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for his singles “Duke of Earl” and “Groovy Situation”. His musical career began in the early ‘50s performing with the band The Gaytones. He then joined The Dukays in 1957, eventually moving into the lead singer position. He was drafted into the U.S. Army but was discharged in 1960 and returned to The Dukays line-up. The group recorded their debut single, “The Girl Is a Devil”, which was released in 1961. They went into the studio again and recorded four tracks. The first single from these sessions was “Nite Owl”, which reached Number 73 on the chart. One of the other tracks from that recording session was “Duke of Earl”, which was released as a solo track on Vee Jay Records under the artist name Gene Chandler. The “Duke of Earl” single became a huge hit, selling a million copies in a month. Chandler released his debut album, The Duke of Earl, in 1962. After the big success of the single, and his popular live show, Chandler left Vee Jay and signed with Constellation Records. He scored hits with two songs written by Curtis Mayfield - “Just Be True” (1964) and “Nothing Can Stop Me” (1965). Signing to Chess Records and Brunswick Records, he continued to release charting singles but they barely entered the Top 50. His album releases were less prolific than his single releases, only releasing a total of seven albums throughout the ‘60s. In 1970, he released the single “Groovy Situation”, which reached Number 12, his highest selling single since “Duke of Earl”. During this period, he began to focus on production, setting up his own production company and two record labels – Bamboo Records and Mister Chand Records. Chandler produced Mel & Tim’s single “Backfield in Motion”, which reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. He continued to work behind the scenes as well as release his own records. During the rest of his career, he was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, won the National Association of Television and Radio Announcer’s Producer of the Year Award as well as the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award. In August 2014, he was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.

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Stations Featuring Gene Chandler

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