The Dells were just indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The archetypal R&B vocal harmony group began recording doo-wop in 1953 and carry on to this very day with one lineup change in 51 years.
Led by the appealingly gruff lead of Marvin Junior and the sweet high tenor of Johnny Carter, the quintet has performed and recorded in every decade since the ’50s, making them one of the most influential vocal groups of all time.
The Dells reached their commercial peak in the late ’60s and early ’70s with the smooth soul of “Stay In My Corner,” “I Can Sing a Rainbow/Love Is Blue,” “Always Together,” “Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation” and “Oh What a Night.” The Dells’ career is brilliantly contained in a new Ultimate Collection on Chess/Hip-O Records.
After their induction, the Dells were not modest about their place in history: “Everybody followed us, singing-wise, because we’re a great vocal group,” said member Charles Barksdale. “In fact, we’re one of the best harmony groups that’s ever been on the planet, so everybody has to follow us. We’re leaders. This is the ultimate proof that we were just fantastic.”
If you’ve got it, flaunt it.