The Chantels | He’s Gone

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The Chantels was a popular girl-groove doowop group from the Bronx, NY, in the early 1950s. The group’s members were students at St. Anthony of Padua School, and they took their name from that of another Catholic school, St. Francs de Chantal.

They signed their first recording contract, with End Records, in 1957, but the record, “He’s Gone”, wasn’t a hit; however, it later became a popular request on “oldies” and “doo-wop” stations. Their next record, however, was their biggest hit and is considered a classic of “doo-wop” girl groups:

“Maybe”, written by lead singer Arlene Smith. “Maybe” was later successfully covered by Janis Joplin, as “Maybe Maybe Maybe”. It sold over a million copies for the group and was performed by them, in 1958, on TV’s “American Bandstand”, “The Saturday Night Dick Clark Show” and locally in NYC on Ted Steele’s “Dance Time”.

Though their next two singles, “Every Night” and “I Love You So”, didn’t chart as well, the recordings received considerable airplay and are considered classics today. Nevertheless, in 1959 their recording company, End Records, dropped them. After some personnel changes the group signed with Carlton Records and had their second big hit, “Look In My Eyes”.

Again, they weren’t able to follow that with another top-20 hit, and more personnel and label changes followed. In the 1970s former lead singer Arlene Smith, who had left the group for a solo career, formed a “new” Chantels to make the rounds of oldies shows and personal appearances. In 1999 the surviving members of the original Chantels reformed for the PBS TV special Doo Wop 50 (1999).

6 thoughts on “The Chantels | He’s Gone

  1. I love the rawness, I hear genuine vocals.


    1. Yes you do. Big Tech Technology for vocalists and musicians was unheard of. So raw they were. 🫠🎶


  2. Powerful set of lungs on that girl! Had heard the name of the group previously, but not the music. Impressive voice, but a little too overpowering for my taste. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A cappella is what they called it, a doowop basic. A different type of music and harmonizing than the sounds of today. Thanks for sharing your thoughts thoughts. ☕️☕️


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