Eugene Dixon " Gene Chandler", Car: Ben Broyles, Bottom James Lowe, Shirley Jones and Earl Edwards
The Dukays (Chicago)
Eugene Dixon " Gene Chandler" (Lead)
Shirley Jones (Tenor/Soprano)
James Lowe (Second Tenor)
Earl Edwards (Baritone)
Ben Broyles (Bass)
1961 - The Big Lie / The Girl's A Devil (Nat 4001)
1961 - Nite Owl / Festival Of Life (Nat 4002/ Vee-Jay 430/Oldies 45)
1961 - Duke Of Earl / Kissin' In The Kitchen (Nat 4003/(Vee-Jay 416)
1962 - I'm Gonna Love You So / Please Help (Vee-Jay 442)
1962 - I Feel Good All Over / I Never Knew (Vee-Jay 460)
1963 - Combination / Every Step (Vee-Jay 491)
1964 - The Jerk / Say You Love Me (Jerry-O 105)
1964 - The Jerk / Mo'Jerk (Jerry-O 105)
1965 - Mellow-Fezneckey / Sho-Nuf M. F. (Jerry-O 106)
1965 - Mellow-Fezneckey / Mellow-Fezneckey (Jerry-O 106)
The Duke Of Earl
1962 - Duke Of Earl / Kissin' In The Kitchen (Vee-Jay 416)
1962 - Walk On With The Duke / London Town (Vee-Jay 440)
1962 - Daddy's Home / The Big Lie (Vee-Jay 450)
1962 - I'll Follow You / You Left Me (Vee-Jay 455)
Gene Chandler was born Eugene Drake Dixon in Chicago, Illinois, on July 6, 1937. He attended Englewood High School on Chicago's south side. He began performing during the early 1950s with the band The Gaytones. In 1957, he joined The Dukays, with James Lowe, Shirley Jones, Earl Edwards and Ben Broyles (the unforgettable bass on "Duke of Earl) , soon becoming their lead singer. After his draft into the U.S. Army he returned to Chicago in 1960 and rejoined the Dukays.
The Dukays were offered a recording contract by Nat Records and recorded a single with producers Carl Davis and Bill "Bunky" Sheppard, "The Girl Is a Devil" (1961). "The Girl Is a Devil," sold locally and did a little business outside of Chicago in 1961. This was followed with a session in August 1961 that resulted in four sides, most notably "Nite Owl" and "Duke of Earl". Nat Records chose to release "Nite Owl" and it became a sizeable R&B success at the end of 1961.
They were showstoppers live: everything about them was exciting, especially Shirley Jones (Dixon's cousin), who stepped and blew notes right along with the fellows, almost a funky edition of The Platters. In December of 1961, Nat released their third single, "The Duke of Earl" b/w "Kissin' in the Kitchen," and all hell broke loose. Meanwhile, Davis and Sheppard shopped the "Duke of Earl" recording to Vee-Jay Records company, which released it in 1962 by Dixon as a solo artist with the name "Gene Chandler"(he adopted the surname from actor Jeff Chandler and people always shortened his first name anyway). The Dukays felt slighted, abused, and mistreated. Vee Jay didn't re-record the song, but simply slapped their label on new pressings on the Nat acetate.
1962 - Charles Davis , Earl Edwards, James Lowe & Margaret "Cookie" Stone
As appeasement, Vee Jay signed the group to a separate deal and reissued their second single "Nite Owl." Charles Davis (aka Nolan Chance) replaced Chandler and Margaret "Cookie" Stone took over for Shirley Jones, who quit. Vee Jay issued three singles by The Dukays, two in 1962 and one in 1963, but none of them clicked. They appeared uncredited on a few of Chandler's solos, before he switched to Constellation Records, the label that made him an R&B icon.
1964 - Claude McRae, James Lowe, Earl Edwards & Richard Dixon
Nearly two years passed before The Dukays surfaced in November 1964 on the Jerry-O label with "The Jerk." The new group featured Claude McRae (lead), Richard Dixon, Earl Edwards, and James Lowe. In 1965, Jerry-O, owned by Jerry J. Murray, issued the final Dukays single, "Mellow-Fezneckey" b/w "Sho-Nuf M.F." (a scandalous title for the times); neither did much business and they disbanded. Nolan Chance recorded solo for Constellation and other labels, while Chandler carved a stellar solo career.
The Big Lie The Girl's A Devil
Nite Owl Festival Of Life
Duke Of Earl Kissin' In The Kitchen
I'm Gonna Love You So Please Help
Walk On With The Duke London Town
I Feel Good All Over I Never Knew
Combination Every Step
The Jerk Say You Love Me
Mellow-Fezneckey Sho-Nuf M. F.
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