Notable Deaths ›

Charles Barksdale (2019), bass singer for The Dells

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Co-founder of the 1950s doo-wop group

Charles Barksdale was a co-founder and bass vocalist for the doo-wop group The Dells. The five member singing group was started in 1952 by friends who attended Thornton High School in Harvey, Illinois, near Chicago. Their big hit song, “Oh, What a Night,” released in 1956, has sold over a million copies. The band has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Robert Townsend has said The Dells were his inspiration for his movie, “The Five Heartbeats.”

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Died: Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Who else died on May 15?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 84, according to Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites.


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What they said about him:  “All the 1970s bass singers learned a lot from Charles Barksdale.” - Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites.

Full obituary: Chicago Sun-Times

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Andre Williams (1936 – 2019), legendary Chicago R & B singer

Dennis Edwards (1943 – 2018), lead singer of the Temptations

Bill Isles (1941 – 2019), co-founder of the O’Jays