The Dells

The Dells were an American soul group, formed in 1952 in Harvey, Ill. Signed to Vee Jay Records, they issued numerous doo-wop singles during the second half of the 1950s, scoring a hit in 1956 with “Oh, What a Night.” During the early ’60s, they issued singles on Argo and Oldies 45. Moving to Chess-subsidiary Cadet, they released 12 albums between 1968 and 1975 in a smooth-soul vein, scoring further hits with “Open Up My Heart,” “The Love We Had Stays on My Mind,” and “Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation.” In 1974, they cut a collaborate album with Detroit soulsters The Dramatics.

Members: Marvin Junior (baritone vocals, lead vocals), Verne Allison (tenor vocals, backing vocals), Mickey McGill (baritone vocals, backing vocals), Chuck Barksdale (bass vocals, backing vocals), Johnny Funches (tenor vocals, lead vocals, 1952-58, 1960-61), Lucius McGill (tenor vocals, backing vocals, 1952-54), Johnny Carter (tenor vocals, lead vocals, 1961-2009)


  • Oh, What a Nite (1959)
  • It’s Not Unusual (1965)
  • There Is (1968)
  • The Dells Musical Menu / Always Together (1969)
  • Love Is Blue (1969)
  • Like It Is, Like It Was (1970)
  • Freedom Means (1971)
  • Sweet as Funk Can Be (1972)
  • The Dells Sing Dionne Warwicke’s Greatest Hits (1972)
  • Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation (1973)
  • The Dells (1974)
  • The Dells vs. The Dramatics (1974 • The Dells vs. The Dramatics)
  • The Mighty Mighty Dells (1974)
  • We Got to Get Our Thing Together (1975)
  • No Way Back (1976)
  • Love Connection (1977)
  • They Said It Couldn’t Be Done, But We Did It! (1977)
  • New Beginnings (1978)
  • Face to Face (1979)
  • I Touched a Dream (1980)
  • Whatever Turns You On (1981)
  • One Step Closer (1984)
  • The Second Time (1988)


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