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Archie Bell & The Drells

Archie Bell & The Drells

VOCAL GROUP ARCHIE BELL & THE DRELLS ARE KNOWN MOST FOR THE FUNKY, HANDCLAP-HAPPY SOUL SINGLE “TIGHTEN UP,” A HIT THAT REACHED NUMBER ONE ON BILLBOARD’S R&B AND HOT 100 CHARTS IN 1968. BELL AND HIS HOUSTON, TEXAS-BASED SUPPORT — WHICH FEATURED, AT VARYING TIMES, ARCHIE’S BROTHER LEE BELL, BILLY BUTLER, JOE CROSS, LUCIOUS LARKINS, WILLIE PERNELL, AND JAMES WISE — WENT ON TO WORK EXTENSIVELY WITH PHILLY SOUL ARCHITECTS KENNETH GAMBLE AND/OR LEON HUFF. THROUGHOUT THE ’70S, BELL AND THE DRELLS COMBINED THEIR SMOOTH AND SOPHISTICATED SOUND WITH TOP-RATE SHOWMANSHIP AND HAD AMASSED 20 CHARTING SINGLES BY THE END OF THE DECADE. ALTHOUGH THEIR JOYOUS DANCE HITS WERE PROMINENT, THEY ALSO RECORDED SEVERAL HIGH-QUALITY BALLADS PRIOR TO THEIR 1980 SPLIT.

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