John Carter of the Dells dies

John Carter of the DellsAugust 21 - We've received reports this morning from SoulTrackers that John Carter, the legendary lead tenor of the Hall of Fame-inducted group the Dells has died at age 75 after a long battle with cancer.  Carter was declared dead at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Carter's hometown of Harvey, Illinois.

Carter's magnificent tenor and crystal clear falsetto became the foundation for much of the group's seminal work, including hits such as "Stay In My Corner" and "My Pretending Days Are Over."  Carter was the "new kid" in the Dells, with 48 years as a member, and his contributions cannot be overstated.  He will be missed.

John Carter of the DellsAugust 21 - We've received reports this morning from SoulTrackers that John Carter, the legendary lead tenor of the Hall of Fame-inducted group the Dells has died at age 75 after a long battle with cancer.  Carter was declared dead at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Carter's hometown of Harvey, Illinois.

Carter's magnificent tenor and crystal clear falsetto became the foundation for much of the group's seminal work, including hits such as "Stay In My Corner" and "My Pretending Days Are Over."  Carter was the "new kid" in the Dells, with 48 years as a member, and his contributions cannot be overstated.  He will be missed.

Like the Four Tops, the Dells will go down in soul music history as a group equally respected for its longevity as for its great music.  A legendary act that moved from doo-wop to jazz to soul for 50 years, the Dells managed to stay relevant while musical styles and audiences changed, and created a discography of memorable material. Click Here to read more about the Dells

Legendary songwriter/producers Gamble and Huff issued the following statement upon Carter's death:

"The Dells have been together 58 years, and they really go way back with us, too," said Gamble & Huff in a joint statement. "We've always looked at them as some of the key innovators of Rhythm & Blues, and Johnny Carter, was especially innovative, because of his earlier tenure with the Flamingos, which also was an excellent group. We considered him to be one of the best tenors ever in Rhythm & Blues, with an absolutely superb voice. Not only us, but a lot of people will be sad about his leaving."

After coveting The Dells for years, Gamble & Huff finally got to work with the legendary Chicago vocal group in 1992, further updating their sound on the I Salute You album. One of the finest and longest-lived R&B vocal groups in history, The Dells signed with Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records through Zoo/BMG amid a flurry of record offers, and I Salute You was issued around the time of the group's 40th anniversary. Two of the album's singles, "Come and Get It" and the glorious ballad "Oh My Love" landed on Billboard's R&B charts. Other notable tracks from I Salute You included the soul searching "I'm Only a Man" and the regional hit, "SomeBody's Gotta Move," which later featured high-powered Philly vocalist Grace Little.

Gamble & Huff recorded another album with Carter and The Dells in the early ‘90s that remains unreleased in the Philadelphia International Records vault. As a tribute to the group, the label plans to release that album in the near future.

Carter joined The Dells in 1960 and helped the group become one of the few to span music genres, with a repertoire that included doo-wop, jazz, soul, disco and contemporary R&B and resulted in successful recordings surpassing more than four decades. Carter belted out his tenor vocals smoothly blending them with Marvin Junior's lead baritone to mesmerize audiences equally in concert and on record. The unmatched union of Carter and Junior took The Dells' world-renown legendary songs to a heightened crescendo, from their two #1 R&B hits, "Oh, What a Night" and "Stay in My Corner," to other favorites like "Standing Ovation," "There Is" and "The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind)."

Here is the funeral information, courtesy of our frient Bob Davis:

VISITATION:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 29, 2009
2:00pm -6:00pm
W.W. HOLT FUNERAL HOME
175 West 159th Street
HARVEY, ILLINOIS 60426
Note:  Flowers can be sent to W.W. Holt Funeral Home for the Visitation on Saturday, August 29, 2009.

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS:
SUNDAY, AUGUST 30, 2009
BETHLEHEM TEMPLE
20 EAST 147TH STREET
HARVEY, ILLINOIS 60426
VIEWING: 4:00 PM
FUNERAL: 5:00 PM

 

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