David Ruffin

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David Ruffin | Pinterest | tc479

Singer Davis Eli “David” Ruffin, former lead singer of The Temptations, was born on January 18, 1941 and died on June 1, 1991 of “an adverse reaction to drugs”.

With a highly distinctive voice, Ruffin was ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008. Prior to signing with Motown and becoming a Temptation, when they were at the peak of their success, Ruffin had recorded with the Chess Detroit subsidiary CheckMate.

Personal issues began to take over his life. In 1982 he was sentenced to six months prison for failing to pay taxes during the mid-1970s. In 1986 he pleaded no contest to a charge of receiving and concealing a stolen gun worth less than $100 and was fined $50 plus $100 in court costs. In 1987 a cocaine arrest landed him in jail for repeated parole violations.

Most people are already aware that Jimmy Ruffin, a fellow Motown singer, was his brother, and after David Ruffin’s death, Jimmy Ruffin became a well known anti-drugs campaigner. Jimmy Ruffin died on November 17, 2014.

Cleo Jackson Randle

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Understood to be Cleo Jackson Randle | Image restored by Google Archives | tc478

Cleo Jackson Randle was a gospel singer from Chicago who also recorded soul music under the name of Cleo Randle. She was born as Cleopatra Jackson but although having a wonderful voice, she did not achieve recognition. Cleo Jackson Randle died in March 2004 in Chicago.

The Norvells

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The Norvells | NumeroGroup | tc476

Originally called The Belvederes, the Norvells were Billy Smith, Richard Pegue, Claude “Dee-Dee” Wyatt, Victor Trice and Richard Slaughter. The group formed at High School and modelled their sound on The Spaniels. Their current whereabouts are not known.

Roosevelt Nettles

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Roosevelt Nettles With Pat McMahon & Mel Carter | Bob Corritore | tc567

Louisiana native and singer Roosevelt Nettles grew up in New Orleans and sung professionally as a teenager in Mobile, Alabama, then after a period with The Flames he joined the Air Force in 1958 where he formed the Enchanters.

Nettles made Pheonix Arizona his home after his military duties ended in 1962.

He made a local hit which was released nationally on Chess. Nettles and Chess could not agree on a follow-up and his relation with them ended. He steadily performed in the Southwest area opening for Ike & Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, and the Righteous Brothers.

He still resides in the Phoenix area and is understood to work as a Chef, a skill he learned in the services.

Johnny Lemac

Johnny Lemac was a pseudonym for Chicago singer Johnny McKinney, who is now deceased. He had recorded for a number of small labels under various names including his real name, and sung with some Chicago groups. Only one recording was issued on the Chess label.

No photo located.

Can anyone supply further information for this artist please. Thanks.

Ty Hunter

Singer Ty Hunter from Detroit first appeared on Chess’ subsidiary Check-Mate label which had a short life and was run from detroit by Billy Davis. After a solo career, followed by singing with the group Glass House for Invictus Records, Ty Hunter joined the Motown group The Originals, originally a backing group for Motown, in 1971. Ty Hunter died on February 24, 1981.

Jackie Harris

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Jack Harris, 1969 | Copyright control | tc473

Singer, song writer, radio executive and entrepreneur Jack “Jackie” Harris was born in Chicago in 1936 and started playing piano and singing when he was 5 years old. Billy Davis introduced him to Chess records and one single was issued. Harris went on to become a disc jockey on radio station KUXL, becoming programme director. He went on to work with a number of other radio stations. His current whereabouts are unknown.