The Chairmen Of The Board – 1970 – The Chairmen Of The Board
One of the most accomplished soul acts to emerge from Detroit in the early ‘70s, Chairmen Of The Board helped to put Invictus Records on the map with a series of pop and funky R&B hits on both sides of the Atlantic.
Suprisingly good rockin’ soul combo. Every song on the album is a keeper.
Leading by Singer – Writer General Johnson who wrote hits for Freda Payne, Laura Lee, Honey Cone and 100 Proof Aged in soul all whom recorded for Holland-Dozier-Holland labels. Though they all had a turn at lead vocals, it was Johnson’s quirky hiccup-laden style and his songwriting which became increasingly showcased, with the group selling a million plus copies of their single, “Give Me Just a Little More Time”.
This is a @320 vinyl rip of my original Invictus record with covers.
A1 Give Me Just A Little More Time 2.38
A2 Come Together 3.50
A3 Bless You 2.49
A4 Patches 3.31
A5 Since The Days Of Pigtails & Fairytales 2.41
A6 I´ll Come Crawling 2.38
B1 You´ve Got Me Darling On A String 3.00
B2 Bravo, Hooray 3.12
B3 Didn´t We 2.41
B4 Feeling Alright? 3.40
B5 My Way 3.57
B6 Tricked & Trapped 3.20
The explosive “Give Me Just a Little More Time” had Four Tops written all over it. From the in-your-face vocals, the insatiable beat, and spirited backing, the song was a bonafide, can’t-miss hit. A rousing “You Got Me Dangling on a String” again features General Johnson’s (formerly of the Showmen) unusual, quivering lead on another song that seem tailored for the Tops. The country-influenced “Patches” is the most interesting song here; it was later recorded by Clarence Carter, becoming one of his biggest hits. The group’s versatility is showcased, as each member — General Johnson, Danny Woods, Eddie Curtis, and Harrison Kennedy — leads at least one song. The problem is, each has a different agenda: Woods is hardcore R&B, Curtis likes ’60s easy listening, Kennedy is a rocker, and General Johnson is General Johnson. The assorted leads give the album a quilting effect.
Although over 30 years have elapsed since their glory days, Chairman Of The Board’s music has patently not succumbed to the ravages of time, soulful evergreens like Give Me Just A Little More Time, (You’ve Got Me) Dangling On A String sound as fresh and vibrant as the day they were recorded.
General Norman Johnson (born 23 May 1943, Norfolk, Virginia) had a hit as the lead singer of The Showmen in the early 1960s, with the New Orleans rock and roll anthem “It Will Stand” and Carolina Beach Classic “39-21-46”.
When Holland/Dozier/Holland left Motown in 1967 to establish their own Invictus/Hot Wax group of record labels, they teamed Johnson up with Eddie Custis, Danny Woods and Canadian born Harrison Kennedy as the new company’s flagship act, under the appropriate name “Chairmen of the Board”. Custis left the group after their second album.
They all took lead vocals and group quickly had a million selling single, “Give Me Just a Little More Time”. Chairmen of the Board also scored with “You’ve Got Me Dangling On A String”, “Pay To the Piper”, “Everything’s Tuesday”, “Working On A Building Of Love”, “Elmo James”, “Finders Keepers”, and the original version of “Patches”, a memorable Grammy Award winning ballad when later covered with great success by Clarence Carter.
Kennedy, Woods and Johnson all went on to cut solo albums of varying quality, whilst Johnson wrote and produced (with Greg Perry) for other Invictus/Hot Wax acts, notably Honey Cone. Harrison having left, Johnson and Woods toured the UK in 1976 with six musicians as “Chairmen of the Board”, but were not as successful as before. The act was broken up immediately afterwards, Johnson having signed for Arista Records as a solo artist.
In 1978, Johnson reformed the Chairmen of the Board. In 1980, the new Chairmen founded Surfside Records, for which the group still records.