No one can stop a “Duke of Earl.” As an R&B predecessor and major stylistic influence, Gene Chandler is remembered fondly for this hit song. A darling among all the solid gold oldies, the dumbed-down background doo-wops made for a catchy classic. The soulful chart-topper was his big break and led him into 19 singles on the top 40 list.
It is a summer love anthem to it’s core and what needs to be brought back from the early 1960’s, when poodle skirts had just lost their appeal, but pleasant harmonies remained in high demand–thank, goodness. Chandler ruled as Duke, wearing a monocle, cape, top hat, and cane to each performance. The talent, not the attire, is what won him the “Producer of the Year” Award for the National Association of TV and Radio in 1970, beating even famed producer of the Temptations.
Let him seize your sound system for the summer. The Duke rules again.