Monday, November 16, 2009

That's the end of the line....

The Chick and Chuck Carbo story is complicated.

They started out singing in church with a gospel group called the Zion City Harmonizers [Zion City is a New Orleans neighborhood], which soon changed it's name to the Delta Southernaires.

In 1953, the group came to the attention of Cosimo Matassa and he coaxed them into recording a couple of R&B songs along with two gospel sides.

The two secular sides, I Didn't Want To Do It/You're The One, were released on the Imperial label in early 1954 under the name 'The Spiders'. Both songs were hits. I Didn't Want To Do It went to #3 on the R&B charts, You're The One peaked at #5 that year.

Almost immediately, things started to go sour. Within six months, 'The Spiders' were outed to the gospel community, who promptly ostracized them....Lew Chudd at Imperial made a move to get Chuck to go solo, which po'ed the rest of the least one member left because of the heavy touring schedule...and tragically, Chuck's young son died, after which he effectively left the group as well....

For several years afterwards a funny situation existed....Chick ran the actual touring group, basically without Chuck, while Imperial continued to release records by the Spiders which were usually Chuck with some combination of the Spiders, or Chuck himself overdubbing the back-up parts, or even Chuck with unrelated back-up singers. Of the 28 sides issued by Imperial, Chuck sings lead on 20.

Now, I'm not saying Chuck's voice wasn't beautiful, but right or wrong, my feeling is that Chick was the one who got shafted. And it's too bad, cause his voice was just as amazing as Chuck's, if somewhat different.

Chick put out seven 45's under his own name on various labels. As far as I can tell, he never released anything past 1967.

Here's one of the 4 sides he did with Allen Toussaint for Instant...from 1962.



  1. *melts* Wow, that Toussaint sound grabs me every time. And you're right, what a voice. Never heard this one before. Thanks!

  2. You're welcome Jukebox.

    Run Henry, is the flip-side of, In The Night, which is what folks usually play. The other single with Toussaint is, Two Tables Away/What Does It Take. Both 45's are well worth the $5 they'll set you back.