Tag Archives: 31st Street Beach Chicago

Nolan Chance and the Beach: i’ll never forget you.

(photos: Labor Day 1936 at 31st Street Beach, Chicago) found at bvikkivintage

I love “I’ll Never Forget You” by Nolan Chance.  Released here in Chicago in 1969, its creation was a collaboration between Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, and Leroy Hutson (arguably the patron saints of Chicago Soul for the decade that was to come).  The song has aural dream sequences: One moment, Nolan is reminiscing the sand-in-shoes good times spent with his lost love.  The music is floaty, featuring dreamy keys and a güiro, the same scraping percussion instrument in the Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk”.

The next moment, Nolan is snapped back into reality and the music features rhythmic, ebbing horns that recede like the tide.  It makes me want to go to the beach.  Enjoy the pictures and the music….

NOTE: Nolan Chance (born Charles David) was raised in LaGrange, IL, and was at one time a member of the Artistics.  Another record of his that I picked up based on my love for “I’ll Never Forget You” is “I’d Like to Make it With You”, the B-side of “Sara Lee” (released in 1972, and NOT the same song as the similarly titled “Make it With You” by Bread).  Great sassy Chicago brass and pulsating rhythm.  Jive on.


Summertime and Billy Stewart: Fruitful and Fleeting

summertimeSummer has left our once-warm grasp.  In memorium, Darkjive presents Chess Records’ Billy Stewart with a 1966 version of the classic song “Summertime” (from Porgy and Bess).  I love how Billy Stewart’s scats interplay with insistent horns and halting guitar licks.  The drummer on the cut is a very young Maurice White (of Earth, Wind, and Fire). 

Originally from Washington, D.C., Stewart scored a string of hits in the mid sixties with Chicago record label Chess, including “I Do Love You”, “Fat Boy”, and “Sitting in the Park”.  He died just shy of his 33rd birthday when his car plunged into a North Carolina river, alongside three of his bandmates.  Billy Stewart’s “Summertime”: Fruitful, fleeting talent singing the praises of a fruitful, fleeting season.

31st street beach

(above, 31st Street Beach, Chicago)