R.I.P. Heaven and Earth singer supreme, James Dukes, Jr.

Photo courtesy of Soulwalking

(July 4, 2021) Back in the 70s, it seems that radio was filled with brilliant male vocal groups, and one of the most unsung was the talented quartet Heaven and Earth. We’re sorry to report today that James Dukes, Jr. the noted bass singer for Heaven and Earth, has died.

(July 4, 2021) Back in the 70s, it seems that radio was filled with brilliant male vocal groups, and one of the most unsung was the talented quartet Heaven and Earth. We’re sorry to report today that James Dukes, Jr. the noted bass singer for Heaven and Earth, has died.

Originally called The Soul Majestics, Heaven and Earth consisted of Dukes and his brother Dwight, Michael Brown and Keith Steward. They recorded a handful of albums during the late 70s and early 80s and had their biggest hit with the beautiful ballad “Guess Who’s Back In Town.” Unfortunately, their three albums on the Mercury label didn’t get the attention that the group deserved, and by the mid 80s, Heaven and Earth was no more (notably, Dwight Dukes went on to become one-third of the popular Philly recording group Cashmere).

So many very talented soul acts seemed to fall between the cracks over the years, but while Heaven and Earth never achieved true fame during their brief run, their albums of high quality soul have continued to resonate with soul music fans around the world, nearly four decades after they split. And James Dukes’ recognizable bass was a big part of that magic musical equation. May he rest in peace.

By Chris Rizik

Thanks to SoulTracker Alicia for letting us know

Funeral Arrangements:
AA Rayner & Sons Funeral Home
318 E 71st Chicago IL
Saturday July 10, 2021
Visitation 11:00am to 12:00pm
Service 12:00pm to 1:00pm

 

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