Dells, Dreams Of Contentment

Ed Ward

By Ed Ward

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Dreams Of Contentment

One of the most spectacular vocal groups Chicago ever produced.

The Dells were, along with the Impressions, one of the most spectacular vocal groups Chicago ever produced. Not as teenage as the Spaniels or the El Dorados, they epitomized the more sophisticated end of vocal harmony, and Vee-Jay stuck with them while single after single flopped. One member of the group got so frustrated he quit to go on the road with another group, so that when the Dells recorded "Oh What a Nite," Vee-Jay A&R man Calvin Carter found himself singing with them. When the record unexpectedly took off, the errant Dell returned, and before long they had another, more modest, hit with "Stay in My Corner." Both showed off what the group could do best, and the group toured incessantly until a 1958 automobile accident ended this phase of their career. Signing to Chess after regrouping, they became one of the great soul vocal groups of the 1960s with revamped versions of both their hits, with the incomparable Marvin Junior in the lead vocal spot.