Black Music History "Group Session" – Day 14: The Dells

6 Degrees of Soul: In 1974, Day 13’s The Dramatics did a joint album with Day 14’s The Dells. The album was titled The Dells vs. The Dramatics.

The Dells were the bridge that linked doo-wop to classic soul. After their hit “Oh, What A Night”, in 1956, several groups patterned themselves after The Dells. The ensemble featured baritone Marvin Junior paired with falsetto singer Johnny Carter rotating lead throughout their career. Marvin Junior has been widely acknowledged for influencing several leading singers, such as Teddy Pendergrass. In 1991, Robert Townsend’s The Five Heartbeats was loosely based on the group. They are truly forefathers of soul.
…the song that started it all…“Oh, What A Night”
…my dad would always mention that “Stay In My Corner” was six minutes and twelve seconds long… he said remembered it because when it came on at the house parties, the fellas would rush to get an extended dance with that special someone… Marvin Junior completely destroys this song starting around 4:44… and holds a note for about 18 seconds… Marvin the Great.
…heavily sampled and equally powerful… “Love Is Blue (I Can a Rainbow)” produced by Charles Stepney
…one the most beautiful songs ever… “The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind)”
…may the soul be with you…
– dre’ of
…while going through their work… I stumbled upon one of their last hits… “All About the Paper” and had to post it… this is a groooooooove… this could have easily been on a Gamble and Huff produced Harold Melvin / Teddy P album…

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