GeneChandler DukeOfEarl publicityphoto 1500 crop

duke duke duke duke of earl

THIS BRIEF PIECE on the Duke of Earl was in­spired by an equally brief ar­ticle on my other site ti­tled “earl earl earl, earl of grey.” That piece is not about a duke duke duke of any­thing, but about my en­joy­ment of Tazo’s Earl Grey tea, a bev­erage I have loathed for decades but—for some in­ex­plic­able change in my aging, testosterone-deprived taste buds—I cur­rently crave the stuff!

Gene Chan­dler’s Duke Of Earl is a rhythm and blues-based pop record recorded in 1961. This won­derful, goofy record came out of nowhere and, de­spite being a throw­back to the re­cently de­parted doo-wop sound of the ’50s, took the air­waves by storm.

“The song orig­i­nated from ex­er­cises by the Dukays, an R&B vocal group that in­cluded Eu­gene Dixon and Earl Ed­wards. The group would reg­u­larly warm up by singing Do, do, do, do in dif­ferent keys. Dixon changed the syl­la­bles to in­clude Earl’s name and the chant grad­u­ally be­came the non­sense words Du, du, du, Duke of Earl.

The pair worked on the song with reg­ular song­writer and mentor Ber­nice Williams and then recorded it with the Dukays. How­ever, the group’s record com­pany (Vee Jay) pre­ferred to re­lease an­other song [under the groups’ name], leaving Dixon with the offer of re­leasing it as a solo artist. Dixon changed his name to Gene Chan­dler and the song was re­leased at the end of 1961, quickly rising to be­come #1 on both the pop and R&B charts.” (Wikipedia)

Duke Of Earl spent five weeks at #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 but only three weeks at the same po­si­tion on the Bill­board Hot 100 in Feb­ruary 1962.

 

Duke of Earl Gene Chan­dler / STEREO SOUND

Duke Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.

As I walk through this world,
nothing can stop the Duke of Earl.
And you are my girl,
and no one can hurt you.

Yes, I’m gonna love you!
Come on let me hold you, dar­ling,
’cause I’m the Duke of Earl.

And when I hold you,
you will be my Duchess, Duchess of Earl.
We’ll walk through my dukedom,
and the par­adise we will share.

Yes, I’m gonna love you!
Nothing can stop me now,
’cause I’m the Duke of Earl.

Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.
Duke Duke Duke of Earl.

I’m gonna love you!
Nothing can stop me now,
’cause I’m the Duke of Earl.

The record holds a soft spot in many a heart of those of us who grew up lis­tening to Top 40 radio in the early ’60s. It was also a piv­otal in­flu­ence on Frank Zap­pa’s many homages to doo-wop music on the early Mothers of In­ven­tion al­bums.

 

DukeOfEarl

Mr Gene Chan­dler in his very cool formal at­tire, be­cause after all, how else should the Duke of Earl be seen by his doting sub­jects?

 

 

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