12 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Casual listeners will know Gene Chandler from the colossal 1962’s chart topper “The Duke of Earl” but Chandler was far more than a one-hit wonder. One of the true giants of Chicago soul music Chandler was a multi-faceted artist with a career spanning four decades. Though he had many fine hit singles few of his full-length albums can rival 1967’s stellar The Girl Don’t Care for its consistent quality and dazzling smooth soul production values. Much of this is due to the involvement of Curtis Mayfield, who co-wrote some of the best songs here. His evenhanded influence can be heard throughout this album with its subtle, often mournful songs, delicate string arrangements and painstakingly orchestrated harmonies. Indeed one can even hear Mayfield’s angelic backing vocals on tracks like “You Can’t Hurt Me No More” and “To Choose.” Yet Mayfield’s contributions are always understated and never overpower Chandler’s considerable vocal firepower. Arguably Chandler’s finest full-length release The Girl Don’t Care is an essential purchase for fans of classic Chicago soul.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Casual listeners will know Gene Chandler from the colossal 1962’s chart topper “The Duke of Earl” but Chandler was far more than a one-hit wonder. One of the true giants of Chicago soul music Chandler was a multi-faceted artist with a career spanning four decades. Though he had many fine hit singles few of his full-length albums can rival 1967’s stellar The Girl Don’t Care for its consistent quality and dazzling smooth soul production values. Much of this is due to the involvement of Curtis Mayfield, who co-wrote some of the best songs here. His evenhanded influence can be heard throughout this album with its subtle, often mournful songs, delicate string arrangements and painstakingly orchestrated harmonies. Indeed one can even hear Mayfield’s angelic backing vocals on tracks like “You Can’t Hurt Me No More” and “To Choose.” Yet Mayfield’s contributions are always understated and never overpower Chandler’s considerable vocal firepower. Arguably Chandler’s finest full-length release The Girl Don’t Care is an essential purchase for fans of classic Chicago soul.

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About Gene Chandler

Gene Chandler is remembered by the rock & roll audience almost solely for the classic novelty and doo wop-tinged soul ballad "Duke of Earl"; the unforgettable opening chant of the title leading the way, the song was a number one hit in 1962. He's esteemed by soul fans as one of the leading exponents of the '60s Chicago soul scene, along with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler. Born Eugene Dixon, he was a member of the doo wop group the Dukays and "Duke of Earl" was actually a Dukays recording; Dixon was renamed Gene Chandler and the single bore his credit as a solo singer. Chandler never approached the massive pop success of that chart-topper (although he occasionally entered the Top 20), but he was a big star with the R&B audience with straightforward mid-tempo and ballad soul numbers in the mid-'60s, many of which were written by Curtis Mayfield and produced by Carl Davis. Chandler's success became more fitful after Mayfield stopped penning material for him, although he enjoyed some late-'60s hits and had a monster pop and soul smash in 1970 with "Groovy Situation." His last successes were the far less distinguished disco- and dance-influenced R&B hits "Get Down" (1978) and "Does She Have a Friend?" (1980). ~ Richie Unterberger

HOMETOWN
Chicago, IL
BORN
July 6, 1937

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