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Roburt

Mister Chandler (Ex Of The Caprells)

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The Pittsburgh soul music scene has long fascinated me.

Loads of blue eyed soul singers did really well there, local artists cut in local studios & had releases on local labels but the addresses on the labels were in other cities (LA, Detroit). Lots of acts eventually headed out to Philly to try to make the big time and so the local gene pool was diminished. But more acts kept coming through and so the local clubs always had decent live acts to showcase.

A guy who was involved with one such group has just put out a CD album that is currently getting some praise.

The guy in question is Mister Chandler and he now lives in Florida and sings gospel. When he was much younger (the 70's) and still back in Pittsburgh, he was hooked up with the Caprells. His older sister had recorded when he was still young and after hearing her voice on the record, it inspired him to follow a music career himself.

He tells me that he played on the Pittsburgh music scene a lot in the 70’s. He worked with Al Dowe (who was involved with the Millage label), Cecil Brooks III, Roger Humphries RH Factor (and Rodgers Big Band) and more. He actually recorded with the Caprells (on tracks such as "Close Your Eyes", "Walk On By", "I Believe in the Stars" and many more). He also worked with a 3 piece blues trio called 'Black Lick' in conjunction with guitarist Cordell Dudley. Cordell also played with Betty Davis (the original Nasty Girl funkster). DeWayne Chandler got to play at all of the major venues in Pittsburgh; the Crawford Grill, The Tiger Tail, Walt Harpers Attic, the Encore, the Pyramid Lounge and other venues.

 

He has a very good music pedigree and this shows through on his latest CD,'Teach Me Lord' ...........

Check out his web site to hear the tracks ........http://www.iammisterchandler.com/

 

The CD is available for sale at CD Baby ......http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/misterchandler2

 

 

 

Some old Caprells tracks ......

 

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Edited by Roburt

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The Pittsburgh-based family the Dixons (Rodney, Joyce, Mickey and bandleader / vocalist / arranger Glen) released their records as the Caprells on its self-funded Bano label. The first stands as its most popular. "Close Your Eyes," as arranged by Glen Dixon and backed by The Sul Brothers Band, not only revitalizes a Tin Pan Alley classic, but utterly transforms it. A modern listener would be forgiven for thinking Dixon wrote the song himself, hired Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke to produce, and sneaked Bernard Purdie into the drum chair.
In 2006, just as "Close Your Eyes" looked as if it might catalyze a Caprells renaissance, Dixon died at age 54 from complications due to sarcoidosis, a rare and treatable yet little-discussed disease. But the song he handled lead vocals on (with his fine falsetto) some 34 years earlier stands as testiment to those he left behind. The Caprells competed on the Pittsburgh soul music scene with the likes of Black Love, the Deltones, Family of Eve, Brass Monkey, Pyramid / Pyrymyd and others. 

However, many of the other outfits didn't get to commit as many tracks to vinyl as the Caprells did. The group even  had cuts picked up for national distribution (by Ariola America)  and they also got to head across to Philly's Future Gold studio to cut songs that escaped on the C.R.S. label.

 

More of their recordings ........ 

 

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Edited by Roburt

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If you check out Mister Chandler's new CD via either his web site or CD Baby (see links above) .....

give a listen to "I Just Want To Thank You" .... its a very fine modern slow dance track.

Edited by Roburt

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The Caprells tackled an old song & the track went on to become their signature tune ..........

 

A piece out of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2006 ...........

 

I interviewed Rena Dixon at her home in Hazelwood, just up the hill from Second Avenue. Glen and Rena Dixon had only met around 16 years ago. She was a barmaid at the High Rollers club in Homestead in 1990 and he was a chef Downtown at what was then the Vista Hotel. Glen would leave that job and come to the High Rollers to spin records, and after a while Rena was telling him he couldn't always be late.
One night the manager put a record on, and Rena told him, "I know that song. That's the Caprells!" When she was about 10 years old, her older brother, Flint, a bouncer at a club in Beltzhoover, had let her in to see The Caprells, a family band that was Pittsburgh's funky answer to the Jackson Five. The manager laughed at her reference. "You don't even know who they are," he said. "Rodney and Glen and Joyce and Mickey. You work for The Caprells." She'd had no idea the Dixons, owners of the club, were the Caprells. Nor had Glen Dixon ever let on that he was one of the owners. When she later asked him why, he just told her none of it was important. He was nothing but kind. They became friends, fell in love soon enough, and in January 1992 they flew to Las Vegas to get married. They became inseparable. "People didn't say Glen's name without saying my name."
In 1998, Glen couldn't shake a cold. He went to a string of doctors ending with a lung specialist who diagnosed him with sarcoidosis. Tiny lumps, called granulomas, were on his lungs. He took steroid treatments for a year to shrink them. He was in seemingly perfect health. He never missed work, never smoke, drank or ate meat, took his vitamins and, as a singer who cared for his voice, would never be in the same room with anyone doing so much as spraying deodorant. The Dixons weren't overly worried about this disease that can be treated but not cured; they'd been told the mortality rate for sarcoidosis was about 2 percent. But on January 31, 2006, he passed away. An autopsy showed Kenneth Glen Dixon Sr. died at 54 of cardiac sarcoidosis. The disease had spread to every organ in his body.

 

Edited by Roburt

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The Caprells tackled an old song & the track went on to become their signature tune ..........

A piece out of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2006 ...........

I interviewed Rena Dixon at her home in Hazelwood, just up the hill from Second Avenue. Glen and Rena Dixon had only met around 16 years ago. She was a barmaid at the High Rollers club in Homestead in 1990 and he was a chef Downtown at what was then the Vista Hotel. Glen would leave that job and come to the High Rollers to spin records, and after a while Rena was telling him he couldn't always be late.

One night the manager put a record on, and Rena told him, "I know that song. That's the Caprells!" When she was about 10 years old, her older brother, Flint, a bouncer at a club in Beltzhoover, had let her in to see The Caprells, a family band that was Pittsburgh's funky answer to the Jackson Five. The manager laughed at her reference. "You don't even know who they are," he said. "Rodney and Glen and Joyce and Mickey. You work for The Caprells." She'd had no idea the Dixons, owners of the club, were the Caprells. Nor had Glen Dixon ever let on that he was one of the owners. When she later asked him why, he just told her none of it was important. He was nothing but kind. They became friends, fell in love soon enough, and in January 1992 they flew to Las Vegas to get married. They became inseparable. "People didn't say Glen's name without saying my name."

In 1998, Glen couldn't shake a cold. He went to a string of doctors ending with a lung specialist who diagnosed him with sarcoidosis. Tiny lumps, called granulomas, were on his lungs. He took steroid treatments for a year to shrink them. He was in seemingly perfect health. He never missed work, never smoke, drank or ate meat, took his vitamins and, as a singer who cared for his voice, would never be in the same room with anyone doing so much as spraying deodorant. The Dixons weren't overly worried about this disease that can be treated but not cured; they'd been told the mortality rate for sarcoidosis was about 2 percent. But on January 31, 2006, he passed away. An autopsy showed Kenneth Glen Dixon Sr. died at 54 of cardiac sarcoidosis. The disease had spread to every organ in his body.

Great read Robur,t have collected all of

What you've posted by the Caprells over the last year do you know of any other 45s by them ?

Edited by Andy Reynard

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Not an 'expert' really on the group's output. I like their stuff & with DeWayne Chandler getting in touch & telling me he recorded / worked with the group, I did a bit of additional checking around.

It's little local outfits such as the Caprells, running their own label and the like, that makes collecting soul 45's so fascinating (plus the music's good of course).

Apart from their Bano output, I just know about their Philly cut & released 45 ...........

 

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Like many US cities, Pittsburgh had a thriving live soul music scene back in the day (60's / 70's).

So the local groups had venues to play where they could 'learn their trade'. The ones that stayed the course got to record, either locally or away from the city.

BUT it wasn't only local acts that had plenty of places to play. Upcoming / big acts would come to town to play a gig for a local radio DJ and thus they established a profile that allowed them to land lucrative shows in the city.

A few acts that played Pittsburgh back then AND some of the venues they performed at ............

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Edited by Roburt

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