This outstanding show-stopping act has been singing and performing for nearly 5 electrifying decades, sold millions of records, and are considered the most enduring and endearing vocal group in the history of Rhythm and Blues.
Marvin Junior, Johnnie Carter, Charles Barksdale, Michael McGill and Verne Allison began their illustrious career while attending Thornton Township High School located in Harvey, Illinois in 1953 after being coached by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Harvey Fuqua and The Moonglows.
In 1956 The Dells recorded what many writers have deemed one of the turning point songs that defined the rock & roll era, their first million seller, Oh What A Night. The song finished third behind Elvis' Don't Be Cruel at number two and Fats Domino's Blueberry Hill on top.
The rest is musical history as The Dells still perform and hit the charts today.
Their unmistakable harmonies so cleverly created by the late Kirk Stewart were later fine-tuned by the great Quincy Jones who showcased The Dells talent on Dinah Washington's last Mercury Records LP entitled Tears & Laughter. After touring with Dinah for two years, The Dells joined Ray Charles in 1966 and expanded their career by being exposed to the other side of show business performing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Vegas, etc...
In 1967 The Dells teamed up with writer/producer Bobby Miller, who co-wrote and produced most of The Dells greatest hits, and arranger Charles Stepney (co-producer Earth Wind & Fire).
This union produced forty-four R&B charting records, including three number one hits: Oh What A Night - reaching a million sales in 1956 and again in 1969, Stay In My Corner - the first million selling single that was 6 minutes and 10 seconds long, and Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation - RIAA certified million seller 1973, as well as seven gold singles, three gold albums plus twenty-five charted top 40 hits.
The highlight of The Dells' career, which introduced them to the "PEPSI Generation", was when director Robert Townsend wrote the inspiring movie The Five Heartbeats based on the tumultuous lives and career of The Dells. This film produced the hit sound track chartbuster A Heart Is A House For Love which catapulted The Dells into another dimension as superstars. The Dells are recipients of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's 'Pioneer Hall Of Fame' award, the 24th annual NAACP's 'Image Award', the 'Soul Of American Music' award, the Illinois NARAS 'Governor's Award', the 'Jackie Awards' and many lifetime achievement awards from governors and mayors.
With all the accolades placed upon this group of legends, nothing brings as much excitement to the music industry as being part of the newly activated VOLT label, part of the STAX records group distributed by FANTASY RECORDS.
The Dells new release Reminisce (in stores June 2000) is a collection of ten new original Dells songs produced by hit makers Preston Glass (Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, Temptations, Earth Wind & Fire), Fred Pittman, Marvin Junior Jr. and Verne 'Tony' Allison to once again provide the vocal groups of today and the future a blueprint to vocal excellence.