The Dells: The Band that Defined the Sound of the 60s

The Dells: The Band that Defined the Sound of the 60s


The Dells were an American R&B vocal group from Harvey, Illinois, active for over 50 years from the mid-1950s until the early 2010s. They were known for their smooth harmonies, emotive ballads, and soulful performances, and were one of the most successful and influential groups of the 1960s. In this article, we will take a look at the band's history, its impact on the music industry, and why they continue to be a beloved and enduring part of American music history.

Early Years. 

The Dells formed in 1952, while the members were still in high school. The original lineup consisted of lead singer Marvin Junior, baritone Lucius McGill, tenor Johnny Funches, bass Verne Allison, and keyboardist Mickey McGill. They began singing together as a hobby, but quickly realized they had a talent for it and began performing at local events and venues.

In 1955, the group won a talent contest at the Regal Theater in Chicago, which led to them being signed by Chess Records. Their first single, "Oh What a Night," was released in 1956 and became a hit on the R&B charts. This success led to a string of hit singles, including "Stay in My Corner" and "The Glory of Love."

Rise to Fame

The Dells' success continued to grow in the 1960s, with several more hit singles and albums. In 1960, they released their first hit album, "There Is," which reached #5 on the R&B charts. This was followed by "The Dells Sing Dionne Warwicke's Greatest Hits" in 1962, which reached #3 on the R&B charts.

Their biggest hit single of the decade came in 1968 with the release of "There Is," which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the R&B chart. The song sold over one million copies, and earned them a gold record.

In 1968, they released the album "The Dells - Greatest Hits" which sold over one million copies. The album was certified gold by the RIAA.

Impact on the Music Industry. 

The Dells' smooth harmonies, emotive ballads, and soulful performances were a major influence on the music of the 1960s, and their success helped pave the way for other R&B groups of the era. They were one of the first R&B groups to incorporate elements of doo-wop and gospel into their music, which helped to create a distinct sound that set them apart from other groups of the time.

Their longevity and continued success also made them an inspiration to many other artists and bands in the music industry. The Dells were one of the first R&B groups to achieve mainstream success and to have a career that spanned multiple decades, which helped to pave the way for other groups and artists to follow in their footsteps.

Legacy and Enduring Popularity. 

Despite the passing of several members, the Dells continued to tour and perform until the 2010s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. They sold over 30 million records worldwide and are considered one of the most successful and enduring R&B groups.

Google Search Results. 

According to Google Trends, The Dells are consistently searched for, with a peak in search activity in the 60s and 70s. They continue to be searched for today, with the majority of searches coming from the United States and the United Kingdom.


The Dells' music continues to be popular and influential to this day, with many of their songs being covered by contemporary artists and appearing in films and television shows. Fans continue to search for them on Google and streaming services.

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