Jean DuShon


Jean DuShon | All Music | tc178

Jazz vocalist Jean DuShon was born on August 16, 1935 and recorded for a number of labels in the 1960s and 1970s, and during the mid sixties was signed to Chess’ Argo subsidiary. Chess used jazz to provide a steady income of album sales, and would release jazz tracks as singles if they felt there was a crossover appeal for the R&B/Soul market. While at Chess DuShon was recorded with the Ramsey Lewis Trio providing support, for instance.

In AllMusic, Andrew Hamilton writes:

“While still at Chess, fledging Motown writer Ron Miller sought a polished singer to demo a song he’d written with Orlando Murden called “For Once in My Life,” and contacted DuShon. He was so impressed that he decided to let DuShon do it; Chess released it (on Cadet) and it started making noise in Detroit. It caught the ear of Berry Gordy, who discovered that Miller co-wrote it. According to a book by John Levy, Gordy knifed the record and had Miller whip up a version by Stevie Wonder. (It’s also possible that Chess just dropped the ball promotion-wise.) Since most never heard DuShon’s rendition, it’s often mistakenly believed that Wonder cut the original. Gordy had other reasons for allegedly torpedoing the record: Roquel “Billy” Davis aka Tyran Carlo (his old songwriting partner) was Chess’ A&R man and the two had a spirited competition going as to who was going make the best records and have the most hits. Gordy emerged victorious, but Davis cut some timeless records for Chess before making an even bigger impact in advertising.”


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