Marvin Junior, the lead singer of The Dells, has passed away. Junior died from kidney failure and had a weak heart, his son Marvin Junior Jr. told ABC7. He says his father died surrounded by family in his home in Harvey around 3:15 pm on Wednesday afternoon.
He grew up in suburban Harvey and began singing together with the other members of the group while attending Thornton Township High School. The Dells formed in 1952 under the name The El-Rays. In 1956, they recorded their first hit, “Oh What a Night.”
As the lead singer of the Dells, Marvin Junior’s warm, earnest baritone vocals helped define the Harvey, IL, R&B/soul music group during its ’60s/’70s heyday (along with Johnny Carter’s mesmerizing falsetto). One example of his vocal prowess is his ability at holding a note, as heard on the 1968 remake of their own “Stay in My Corner.”