From 1962 to 1970 Gene Chandler put nineteen songs in the top forty, but he will always be known all over the world as the Duke of Earl, his first hit that topped the pop and R&B charts in 1962 and launched his career.
In 1957 Gene became a member of the Du-Kays, a rhythm and blues group with a strong rock and roll sound. They recorded "Nite Owl" and "Duke of Earl" in 1961. The "Duke of Earl" sold a million copies in little over one month. It was a huge hit, Number 1 for three weeks in 1962. It dethroned the "Twist "from its Number 1 position.
After all his successes, Gene decided to put his energy into producing, arranging and hyping other acts. Gene formed two music-publishing companies, a production company and was President of Bamboo Records. Gene's biggest hit at Bamboo was "Backfield in Motion" by Mel and Tim in 1969. Gene selected this song, cut it and sold a million copies. In 1970 Gene signed with Mercury Records and recorded "Groovy Situation". The Strength of both of these tunes got him nominated for "Producer of The Year" Award for the National Association of Television and Radio announcers (NATRA). Gene won the NATRA award in Houston, Texas in August of 1970. He beat Norman Whitfield, producer of the Temptations and Gamble and Huff of the Philadelphia sound for the award, an astounding accomplishment considering the popularity of the Detroit and Philly revolution in that time period.
"Groovy Situation" was a top hit that summer, selling another million. Gene's disco hits were extremely popular in the UK in the 70s and 80s and Gene collaborated with Reggae star "Johnny Nash "in London. "Get Down ", another million-seller absolutely rocked the disco revolution. Gene was with Chi-Sound Records, as Executive vice-president under the direction of Carl Davis at the same time "Get Down" was recorded. Back in high demand, Gene ended up back on the road to perform on the concert circuit, with notable "Wolfman Jack's" Oldies Tour and extensively performing solo in the Northeast, Las Vegas and in California, and of course in Chicago.
Today, Gene still lives in Chicago and attributes his success to his faith in God. His romantic performance style along with his superbly rich voice still makes him a hot number and fabulous performer to contend with. He still packs them in decades later. Nothing can stop the Duke of Earl. Nothing...and he's doing just fine.