The Chantels to be honored with street sign in the Bronx

(April 2, 2019) The years 1955 to 1970 have been called the "golden age of girl groups."  One of the pioneering acts from that "golden age" was a quintet of teen girls from the Bronx, NY, named The Chantels.  With their million-selling hit "Maybe" in 1958, they became the second African-American female singing group to attain national success.  That cemented their place in music history, and has garnered them the nickname, "the sweethearts of doo-wop."

Now, more than six decades later, The Chantels, who are Vocal Group Hall of Famers, will be honored in their hometown with a street sign named after them.  It will be posted at East 166th Street and Prospect Avenue in the Bronx, in front of St. Anthony of Padua Church, where The Chantels sang in the choir and got their start as a group. 

(April 2, 2019) The years 1955 to 1970 have been called the "golden age of girl groups."  One of the pioneering acts from that "golden age" was a quintet of teen girls from the Bronx, NY, named The Chantels.  With their million-selling hit "Maybe" in 1958, they became the second African-American female singing group to attain national success.  That cemented their place in music history, and has garnered them the nickname, "the sweethearts of doo-wop."

Now, more than six decades later, The Chantels, who are Vocal Group Hall of Famers, will be honored in their hometown with a street sign named after them.  It will be posted at East 166th Street and Prospect Avenue in the Bronx, in front of St. Anthony of Padua Church, where The Chantels sang in the choir and got their start as a group. 

The street sign will be unveiled on Friday, April 5th, which is being called "The Chantels Day."  Following the unveiling, there will be a tribute to the legendary ladies that's scheduled to include musical performances by fellow girl groups, The Cookies ("Don't Say Nothing Bad About My Baby") and The Toys ("A Lover's Concerto"). 

All but one of the original Chantels are alive to see this honor.  Jackie Landry Jackson passed away from cancer in 1997.  The remaining original members are Arlene Smith, Sonia Goring Wilson, Renee Minus White, and Lois Harris Powell.  The latter three continue to tour as The Chantels with their lead singer, Noemi (Ami) Ortiz Brink.  Arlene Smith is a solo act. 

For helping this commemorative street sign come to fruition, The Chantels give credit to Beverly Lindsay-Johnson of Kendall Research and Entertainment, Clyde Frazier, Sr. of the Friends of Frederick E. Samuel Foundation, and Dr. Mark Naison, Director of the Bronx African-American History Project. 

When asked how they feel about their tributary street sign, The Chantels say: "It is truly a blessing to receive such an honor recognizing our contribution to the music of the fifties, and acknowledging that we are still singing. The pastor's message to us, 'Welcome Home'  was the icing on the cake."

Join us in congratulating The Chantels on their well-deserved honor!

Keep up with ladies at thechantels.com and/or on their Facebook page under "The Legendary Chantels."

By Darnea N. Samuels

Darnea N. Samuels is a Washington, DC-based radio sports producer, news personality and writer, not to mention a self-proclaimed "old soul" who has loved R&B/soul music all her life. You can read her blog here and connect with her on Twitter.

 

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