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Lester Chambers

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Lester Chambers
Born (1940-04-13) April 13, 1940 (age 84)
Mississippi, United States
GenresRock, gospel music, soul music, psychedelic rock, blues
Instrument(s)Vocals, harmonica, percussion
Years active1961–present
LabelsColumbia, Explosive Records

Lester Chambers (born April 13, 1940, Mississippi, United States) is an American recording artist, and member and lead singer of the 1960s soul rock group The Chambers Brothers,[1] who had the hit single, "Time Has Come Today".


As a member of the Chambers Brothers, he sang lead on the Chambers Brothers songs "All Strung Out Over You", "People Get Ready", "Uptown", "I Can't Turn You Loose", and "Funky".

As a solo artist he released singles and albums and teamed up with ex-Electric Flag bassist Harvey Brooks to form the Lester Chambers Harvey Brooks Band.[2] He also added vocals to Bonnie Raitt's 1977 Sweet Forgiveness album.

In March 2011, Lester Chambers was inducted into the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame.[3]

Chambers performs with his son Dylan as The New Chambers Brothers as part of the band Moonalice which is led by Roger McNamee.[4]

Personal life and hardship[edit]

Chambers has reported that despite the group's success, he did not receive any royalty payments from 1967 to 1994. In a chat session on the Soul Patrol website, he discussed such injustices that many black artists have endured.[5]

In 2002 his wife, Lola Chambers, testified before the California Senate hearings on Label Accounting Practices that "Time Has Come Today" earned the group under $250 in royalties for the European market over 16 years.[6] She said that Columbia Records told them that "there were no overseas sales to report because The Chambers Brothers records were never licensed to an overseas distributor". But she later discovered copies on eBay of numerous foreign pressings of their records on Columbia foreign affiliate labels for which they were not compensated.[7]

In 2003, the home of Lola and Lester Chambers was broken into and their record collection, consisting of more than 60 Chambers Brothers albums and over one hundred singles, was stolen. Lola Chambers had spent 25 years collecting Chambers Brothers records at various venues to leave these for their sons.[8] Lester Chambers developed a number of medical problems that went untreated because he lacked insurance. He later became homeless, sleeping in a rehearsal hall in Novato, California, until Yoko Ono paid to rent a home for him and his son Dylan.[9]

In March 2012, Chambers started an Internet campaign that went viral[10] to publicize what he claims to be a lack of equitable royalty payments.[11] His Facebook posting received more than 2,500 "likes" and more than 2,000 "shares" in the first 15 hours on his "Wall";[12] it was featured on the front page of Reddit[13] and there were hundreds of tweets about the story.

On July 13, 2013, Chambers was assaulted onstage during a performance at the Russell City Hayward Blues Festival after dedicating a performance of "People Get Ready" to Trayvon Martin, the day the jury found his killer not guilty of a criminal offense. He was reported by his son Dylan to be in "ok" condition later the same evening.[14]

Chambers is a resident of Petaluma, California.[15]

Kickstarter project[edit]

On December 10, 2012, Lester Chambers and Alexis Ohanian (Reddit co-founder) teamed up to launch a Kickstarter project together with the intent to make a new album titled Lester's Time Has Come. Chambers also spoke with Reddit users on December 13, 2012, at an AMA (Ask Me Anything) event and to mention the Kickstarter project to those interested.[16]

Summer of Soul[edit]

In 2021, Lester Chambers and the Chambers Brothers were included in the Questlove Summer of Soul documentary.[17]



  • "Ain't Nice To Know"/"Let Your Body Sway" – Masterpiece 1001 – 1984


  • Do You Believe in Rock and Roll – Explosive Records – 2008[18]
  • It's Time – Explosive Records – 2005[19]
  • Lesters Besters Vol.1 – 2004
  • Sucking my thing – 1999

Lester Chambers & KKk martin

  • Blues For Sale – Ranell – 2001

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Various Artists: Blues Today Volume III – BT Productions – 2002[20]


  1. ^ "Lester Chambers & the Mud Stompers". Lester-chambers.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  2. ^ [1] Archived August 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Blues Singer Lester Chambers: Reality of Music Industry for the 99%". American Blues Scene. March 6, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  4. ^ "Time Has Come Today for Lester Chambers and Moonalice". Relix Media. June 3, 2022. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  5. ^ "Lester Chambers (Chambers Brothers) chat session, audio interview and new music". Soul-patrol.com. May 18, 2001. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  6. ^ Evans, Bill (September 25, 2002). "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance". DMusic.com. Archived from the original on September 14, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  7. ^ "Moses Avalon – Industry Hearings at OnlineRock". Onlinerock.com. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "features : central scrutinizer [08.04.2003]". earpollution. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  9. ^ Joel Selvin (June 22, 2010). "Time comes back around for Lester Chambers". San Francisco Chronicle.
  10. ^ Shapiro, David (March 5, 2012). "Who Is the Neglected Rocker Behind That Viral Photo?". Fuse TV. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  11. ^ "Help Legendary Musician Lester Chambers Get His Royalties". BlackManWithBlog. March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  12. ^ "Lester Chambers – Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "I am the 99%. Screwed by the industry". Reddit. March 5, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  14. ^ Marshall, Matt (July 14, 2013). "Lester Chambers Assaulted on Stage at Blues Festival Over Zimmerman Trial". American Blues Scene Magazine. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  15. ^ "Legendary musician attacked after dedicating song to Trayvon..." Ktvu.com. July 14, 2013. Archived from the original on July 12, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "On Web, 'Time Has Come' for '60s singer". CNN. December 26, 2012.
  17. ^ "Questlove Unearths The Long-Forgotten 'Summer Of Soul'". npr. July 5, 2021.
  18. ^ "Lester Chambers | Do You Believe in Rock and Roll | CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Kevin Michaels. "Lester Chambers | It's Time | CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  20. ^ "The Music of Pete Thelen CD Review". Mnblues.com. Retrieved July 12, 2014.

External links[edit]