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About Lee Charles

Lee Charles Nealy made a handful of records in the late '60s/early '70s. The Chicago-based singer debuted on Dakar Records in 1967 with Karl Tarleton's "It's All Over Between Us," which, like most of Charles' recordings, is best classified as uptown Southern. Dakar tried again in 1968 with "Standing on the Outside" b/w "If That Ain't Loving You"; nothing resulted from either single and Charles signed with Brunswick Records for "Wrong Number" written by Eugene Record, Gerald Sims, and Floyd Smith; it received more plays than the previous two and is probably Charles best-remembered recording, but the sales were putrid. After the Brunswick experience, Charles went with Gene Chandler's Bamboo label in 1970 for a dancer "I Never Want to Lose My Sweet Thing" and "Girl You Turned Your Back on Love," and supposedly two other singles. Good recordings but nothing registered, not even his compositions for other others (i.e., Sylvia Thomas and "Staring Me In My Face" a tune he wrote with the Artistics' Jesse Bolian).

He signed a deal with Holland, Dozier & Holland's Hot Wax Records for two 1972 releases: "Love Ain't Gonna Run Away" followed by "I Just Want to Be Loved" a Charles/Lowrell Simon composition. Neither made much of an impact on the charts.Holland, Dozier & Holland released Charles' soulful remake of the Honey Cones' "Sittin' on a Time Bomb" on their Invictus label; same story: no promotion, no hit. His recording career ended the same year with yet another failure on Wand Records "You Got to Get It for Yourself" a collaboration with Gene Chandler. He delved into writing and producing after abandoning his singing career with pretty much the same results and was all but forgotten until avid Northern soul fans discovered his recordings and started playing them in clubs. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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