Chairmen of the Board
|Chairmen of the Board|
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Genres||Soul, Beach music|
|Labels||Invictus, Surfside Records|
Richard Carey Figueroa (Riche Rich)
|Past members||General Norman Johnson (deceased)
General Norman Johnson (1943-2010) had a hit as the lead singer of The Showmen in the early 1960s, with the New Orleans rock and roll anthem "It Will Stand" and Carolina Beach classic "39-21-40 Shape".
When Holland/Dozier/Holland left Motown in 1967 to establish their own Invictus/Hot Wax group of record labels, they teamed Johnson up with Eddie Custis, Danny Woods and Canadian born Harrison Kennedy as the new company's flagship act, under the appropriate name "Chairmen of the Board". Custis left the group after their second album.
Though they all had a turn at lead vocals, it was Johnson's quirky hiccup-laden style and his songwriting that became increasingly showcased, with the group selling a million plus copies of their single, "Give Me Just a Little More Time". The disc was released in December 1969, reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100, with one million sales confirmed in May 1970, when the group were presented with a gold record by the R.I.A.A. Chairmen of the Board also charted with "(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String", "Everything's Tuesday", "Pay to the Piper", "Finders Keepers" and (in the UK) "Working on a Building of Love" and "Elmo James". They also recorded the original version of "Patches", a 1970 hit for Clarence Carter, whose recording received a Grammy Award in 1971.
Kennedy, Woods and Johnson all went on to record solo albums, whilst Johnson wrote and produced (with Greg Perry) for other Invictus/Hot Wax acts, notably Honey Cone. Kennedy having left, Johnson and Woods toured the UK in 1976 with six musicians as Chairmen of the Board. The final night of the tour was at Middleton Civic Hall on March 11, 1976. The act was broken up immediately afterwards, Johnson having signed for Arista Records as a solo artist.
In 1978, Johnson reformed the Chairmen of the Board along with Danny Woods and Ken Knox. In 1980, the new Chairmen founded Surfside Records, for which the group still records. Surfside Records is an independent record label based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The reformed group had a regional hit with "Carolina Girls", a popular beach music song in North and South Carolina.
After Johnson's death, Woods took the band members on tour as The Board Of Directors in 2011 and Knox continues to tour as Ken Knox and Company with new members, Thomas Hunter and Richard [Riche Rich] Carey Figueroa. Woods created The Danny Woods Show with the band The Party Prophets and Cindy Floyd. Both Woods and Knox still perform in 2013. Woods also continues to write and record new songs and developed the Music Tree Recording label.
|Year||Album||US Top 200||US R&B||UK Albums Chart|
|1970||The Chairmen of the Board 1||133||27||-|
|1973||Greatest Hits 2||-||-||-|
|1974||Skin I'm In||-||52||-|
|2006||Beach Music Anthology||-||-||-|
|Year||A-side / B-side||Album||US Hot 100||US R&B||UK Singles Chart|
|1970||"Give Me Just a Little More Time"/
"Since the Days of Pigtails"
|The Chairmen of the Board||3||8||3|
|1970||"(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String"/
"I'll Come Crawling"
|The Chairmen of the Board||38||19||5|
|1971||"Pay to the Piper"/
|1971||"Chairman of the Board"/
"When Will She Tell Me She Needs Me"
|1971||"Hanging On to a Memory"/
"Tricked and Trapped"
|1971||"Try On My Love for Size"/
"Working on a Building of Love"
|1971||"Men Are Getting Scarce"/
|1972||"Everybody's Got a Song to Sing"/
"Working on a Building of Love"
|1972||"I'm On My Way to a Better Place"/
"So Glad You're Mine"
"Finders Keepers" (Instrumental)
|Skin I'm In||59||7||21|
|1974||"Everybody Party All Night"/
"Morning Glory" (Instrumental)
|Skin I'm In||-||80||-|
(billed as General Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board)
- The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Black Music - Salamandar Books - ISBN 0-86101-145-7
- Wilson, Deryck (2010). ""Beach music icon General Johnson dies"". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 255. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "1999 Inductees". North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Brown, Steven (14 October 2010). "Beach music icon General Johnson dies". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- "Blues Music Awards Nominees - 2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards". Blues.org. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 99. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.