Chairmen of the Board

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Chairmen of the Board
Chairmen of the Board's General Norman Johnson in 2007
Chairmen of the Board's General Norman Johnson in 2007
Background information
OriginDetroit, Michigan, United States
Years active1967–present
LabelsInvictus, Surfside Records, MoPhilly
MembersKen Knox
Thomas Hunter
Brandon Stevens
Past membersGeneral Johnson (deceased)
Eddie Custis
Harrison Kennedy
Danny Woods (deceased)
Darryl Johnson
Richard (Riché Rich) Figueroa

Chairmen of the Board is an American-Canadian, Detroit, Michigan-based soul music group, who saw their greatest commercial success in the 1970s.

Recording career[edit]

General Johnson (1941–2010)[1] had a hit as the lead singer of The Showmen in the early 1960s,[2] 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".[2] Custis left the group after their second album.

Although 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".[2] 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.[3] 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".[2] They also recorded the original version of "Patches", co-written by Johnson, which became a 1970 hit for Clarence Carter.[2] The song 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.[2] Kennedy having left, Johnson and Woods toured the UK in 1976 with six musicians as Chairmen of the Board.[2] 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.[2]

In 1978, Johnson reformed the Chairmen of the Board along with Danny Woods and Ken Knox.[2] In 1980, the new Chairmen founded Surfside Records and began recording beach music.[2] The group remain popular on the beach scene, and Surfside Records still exists as an independent record label based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Chairmen of the Board (General Johnson, Danny Woods and Ken Knox) were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 1999.[4]

General Johnson continued to perform with Woods and Knox as the "Chairmen of the Board" until his death from lung cancer in 2010.[5]

In 2012, Chairmen of the Board released a single, "You", which was written and produced by Knox. In 2013, former member Harrison Kennedy was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the "Acoustic Artist" category.[6]

Danny Woods (born Daniel Woods, Jr. on March 27, 1942 in Atlanta, Georgia) died on January 12, 2018, at the age of 75.[7][8]

In 2021, Chairmen of the Board partnered with producer Wheeler del Torro to bring a new, modern edge to their trademark sound. Del Torro assembled group of remixers, including Severino Panzetta (Horse Meat Disco, Beating Cells) and Doug Gomez to remix their newest single, "Reach Out".[9][10]



Year Album US Top 200 US R&B UK Albums Chart
1970 The Chairmen of the Board 1 133 27 -
1970 In Session 117 16 -
1972 Bittersweet 178 - -
1973 Greatest Hits 2 - - -
1974 Skin I'm In - 52 -
1980 Success - - -
1983 A Gift of Beach Music - - -
1987 The Music - - -
1990 Alive and Kickin' - - -
1993 What Goes Around Comes Around - - -
2006 Beach Music Anthology - - -
  1. Reissued as Give Me Just a Little More Time
  1. UK only release

Chart singles[edit]

Year A-side / B-side Album US Hot 100 US R&B AUS[11] UK Singles Chart[12]
1970 "Give Me Just a Little More Time"/
"Since the Days of Pigtails"
The Chairmen of the Board 3 8 90 3
1970 "(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String"/
"I'll Come Crawling"
The Chairmen of the Board 38 19 - 5
1970 "Everything's Tuesday"/
In Session 38 14 - 12
1971 "Pay to the Piper"/
"Bless You"
In Session 13 4 67 34
1971 "Chairman of the Board"/
"When Will She Tell Me She Needs Me"
In Session 42 10 - 48
1971 "Hanging On to a Memory"/
"Tricked and Trapped"
In Session - 28 - -
1971 "Try On My Love for Size"/
"Working on a Building of Love"
- 48
- 20
1971 "Men Are Getting Scarce"/
"Bravo, Hooray"
Bittersweet - 33 - -
1972 "Everybody's Got a Song to Sing"/
"Working on a Building of Love"
- 30
- -
1972 "Elmo James"/
Bittersweet - - - 21
1972 "I'm On My Way to a Better Place"/
"So Glad You're Mine"
Fresh - - - 30
1973 "Finders Keepers"/
"Finders Keepers" (Instrumental)
Skin I'm In 59 7 - 21
1974 "Everybody Party All Night"/
"Morning Glory" (Instrumental)
Skin I'm In - 80 - -
1976 "You've Got Extra Added Power in Your Love"/
"Someone Just Like You"
(billed as Chairmen of the Board featuring Prince Harold)
n/a - - - -
1986 "Lover Boy"
(billed as General Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board)
n/a - - - 56
2012 "You"

Chairmen of the Board

n/a - - - -


  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Black Music - Salamandar Books - ISBN 0-86101-145-7


  1. ^ Wilson, Deryck (2010). "Beach music icon General Johnson dies". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Colin Larkin, ed. (1993). The Guinness Who's Who of Soul Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 38/9. ISBN 0-85112-733-9.
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 255. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ "1999 Inductees". North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  5. ^ Brown, Steven (14 October 2010). "Beach music icon General Johnson dies". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Blues Music Awards Nominees - 2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  7. ^ Daniel Woods Jr. March 27, 1942 ~ January 12, 2018 (age 75) Archived July 20, 2018, at the Wayback Machine accessdate July 20, 2018
  8. ^ "Passings: Danny Woods, Co-Founder of Chairmen of the Board (1944 - 2018)". Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Wheeler del Torro Presents Reach Out (Beating Cells Remix) - Chairmen Of The Board, Wheeler del Torro". Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  10. ^ "Reach Out (Doug Gomez Remix) - Chairmen Of The Board, Wheeler del Torro". Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 59. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 99. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]