News of Barksdale’s death was shared by famed director Robert Townsend. “We lost a giant today, rest in paradise, Mr. Chuck Barksdale the bass voice of THE DELLS,they were my technical advisers on THE FIVE HEARTBEATS,” he tweeted.
“The real stuff in the film about the music industry came from them. I will celebrate his memory by listening to their hits today,” Townsend added.
According to the newspaper, Barksdale was one of the five members of the El-Rays group, formed in 1952 when they were students at Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Illinois.
After changing their name to the Dells, the group garnered commercial success with their singles “Oh, What a Night,” “The Love We Had Stays on My Mind,” “Stay in My Corner” and “Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation.”
Often referred to as “the Mighty Dells,” the R&B stalwarts were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. The Five Heartbeats director discussed the group’s many contributions to the film during the induction ceremony.
The Dells were also inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in the same year and were sometimes referred to as “the Grandfathers of R&B Harmony.”
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Jasmine Washington is a beauty-obsessed journalist by day and a trap music connoisseur by night. A lifelong New Yorker, she got her start as an intern at the now-defunct Juicy Magazine. Jasmine joined the EBONY.com team as a writer, penning daily stories on all things Black culture and entertainment.