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Chuck Barksdale

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Information about Chuck Barksdale

Profile image of Chuck Barksdale

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Purple
Favorite Food:
Fish, Salad, Potatoes, Rolls
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Aruba
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/11/1935
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Purple
Favorite Food:
Fish, Salad, Potatoes, Rolls
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Aruba
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/11/1935
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Chuck Barksdale is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born on January 11, 1935 in Chicago, Chuck Barksdale is one of the original members of the R&B group the Dells. The Dells (originally known as the El-Rays) were formed in 1952 at Thornton High School in Harvey, Illinois, while the five members (Marvin Junior, Johnny Funches, Verne Allison, Michael McGill and Barksdale) were students.

The group's first hit came in 1956 with "Oh What a Night" which they also famously performed at the Apollo Theater in New York. Although the Dells were a doo-wop group they had continued success all the way through the 1990s. Between 1956 and 1992, the Dells chocked up a total of 46 hits on the Billboard and R&B singles charts, including such classics as "Oh, What a Night", "Stay In My Corner", "Always Together", and "Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation." After the success of "Oh What a Night", the Dells performed for two years as the opening act for Dinah Washington. The group also sang back up on Washington's record "Tears and Laughter." Next, the Dells joined Ray Charles and toured as his opening act.

The Dells also experienced their share of set backs. A tragic car accident in 1958 nearly broke the group up. Michael McGill was seriously injured and Johnny Funches never returned to the group. They reunited in 1960 with Johnny Carter taking over the role of lead singer. During the group's hiatus, Barksdale briefly sang with the Moonglows, a group that also included the late Marvin Gaye. Barksdale returned to the group later in the 1960's and has performed with the group for over fifty years. Much of the recent interest in the group can be attributed to Robert Townsend's 1991 film "The 5 Heartbeats" which is based on the music and the lives of the Dells. The group was inducted to both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and they still perform to this day.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Chuck Barksdale interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Chuck Barksdale's favorite things
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Chuck Barksdale briefly describes his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Chuck Barksdale briefly describes his children
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Chuck Barksdale is grateful for the support of his father and mother as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Chuck Barksdale talks about his mother's musical talents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Chuck Barksdale describes his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Chuck Barksdale describes his father's personality and background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Chuck Barksdale describes his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Chuck Barksdale describes being involved in a racial profiling incident
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Chuck Barksdale talks about his childhood aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Chuck Barksdale talks about growing up in the Chicago area
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Chuck Barksdale talks about starting his R&B group, the Dells
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Chuck Barksdale explains his poor experience in high school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Chuck Barksdale talks about his mentors in the music business
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Chuck Barksdale explains the origin of the Dells's name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the unexpected longevity of the Dells
  • Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the Dells's first record contract
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Chuck Barksdale talks about how his mother inspired him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the Dells's musical influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Chuck Barksdale discusses the Dells's most popular song
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Chuck Barksdale explains the shoddy management of Vee-Jay Records
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Chuck Barksdale explains the inspiration behind the Dells's most popular single
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Chuck Barksdale describes the Dells's experience with Vee-Jay Records
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Chuck Barksdale discusses the success of Motown Records
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Chuck Barksdale explains how the Dells persevered through an auto accident
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the Dells's musical versatility
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Chuck Barksdale talks about learning from Dinah Washington
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Chuck Barksdale explains how the Dells have stayed togther through bad times
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Chuck Barksdale talks about competition with other R&B groups
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Chuck Barksdale briefly describes the talents of Johnny Carter
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Chuck Barksdale explains how the Dells coped with success
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Chuck Barksdale talks about temporarily leaving the Dells
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Chuck Barksdale discusses individual members of the Dells
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Chuck Barksdale describes the Dells's professional relationship
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the Dells's cohesion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the origins of the movie about the Dells
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Chuck Barksdale discusses the success of the Dells's movie 'The Five Heartbeats'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Chuck Barksdale discusses the negative aspects of 'The Five Heartbeats'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Chuck Barksdale discusses the lasting success of the Dells's movie 'The Five Heartbeats'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Chuck Barksdale discusses his feelings about Robert Townsend, director of 'The Five Heartbeats'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Chuck Barksdale talks about his favorite performance with the Dells
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Chuck Barksdale describes some of the Dells's worst performances
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Chuck Barksdale briefly describes his relationship with Patti LaBelle
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the first songs recorded by the Dells
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the Dells's recording career at Vee-Jay Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Chuck Barksdale lists some of the songs the Dells recorded at Vee-Jay Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Chuck Barksdale talks about moving from Vee-Jay Records to Chess Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the Dells's success at Chess Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Chuck Barksdale discusses the legal and financial matters of the music industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Chuck Barksdale thanks the Dells's many fans
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Chuck Barksdale gives his advice for young people
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Chuck Barksdale talks about the importance of oral history
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Chuck Barksdale gives advice for aspiring musicians and entertainers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Chuck Barksdale talks about how the Dells learned harmony from Kirk Stewart
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Chuck Barksdale talks about more of the Dells's mentors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Chuck Barksdale sings for the camera
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Photo - The Dells dress up as sailors for an album cover [1994]
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Photo - Chuck Barksdale with the Dells [1994]
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Photo - Chuck Barksdale with the Dells [1996]
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Chuck Barksdale and the Dells pose for an album cover [2000]