The Dells were an American R&B vocal group. Formed in high school in 1953 by founding members Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Johnny Funches, Chuck Barksdale, and Michael and Lucius McGill, under the name the El-Rays. They released their first recording in 1954 and two years later had their first R&B hit with “Oh What a Night”. After disbanding due to a near-fatal car crash in 1958, the band reformed in 1960 with Funches being replaced by Johnny Carter. This lineup remained together until Carter’s death in 2009. In 2004, The Dells were inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. The group performed until illness forced longtime lead singer Marvin Junior and bass vocalist Chuck Barksdale into retirement, ending the group’s 60-year run.
Also Known As
The El-Rays, The Mighty Dells
R&B, doo-wop, soul
Cadet/Chess, Vee-Jay, Mercury, ABC, 20th Century Fox, Ichiban, Virgin, Philadelphia International, Volt
Harvey, Illinois, U.S.