The bass singer performed with the doo-wop group for over 50 years.
Charles "Chuck" Barksdale, bass singer for the popular doo-wop group The Dells, died on Wednesday (May 15) at the age of 84 in a south suburb of Chicago, according to reports. He had reportedly been in failing health.
Word of Barksdale’s death began spreading Wednesday. “We lost a giant today, rest in paradise to Mr. Chuck Barksdale,” wrote actor-director Robert Townsend, who inducted the group into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, on his Facebook page. Townsend went on to note the group’s role as technical advisors on his 1991 film The Five Hearbeats, during which time, he wrote, “Chuck shared with me so honestly, the good, the bad and the ugly of the music business.” The fictional group in the film, Townsend has said, was based on The Dells.
During his more than 50 years with the group, Barksdale racked up an impressive number of hits over several decades with his bandmates, including the chart smash “Oh, What a Nite” (re-recorded as "Oh, What a Night" in 1969), “Stay in My Corner,” “Always Together,” “There Is” and “Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation.” In 1991, they enjoyed a No. 13 R&B chart hit with "A Heart Is a House for Love," a song the group recorded for the Five Heartbeats soundtrack.