Here’s a tasty slice of funk from the Duke of Earl himself, Gene Chandler. Masterfully dapper, ever-so-smooth, Chandler gets funky on this Checker side from 1969. An early version of the Curtis Mayfield-penned track titled “Hard Times”, the record manifests a ‘creature feature’ vibe that’s fits this time of year like a rubber mask.
An alumnus of Englewood High School, Chandler is one of the founding fathers of Chicago Soul, having begun recording around 1960. Click here for my interview with him. You can’t see it, but that day he wore an O.G. diamond encrusted pinky ring that read “Gene”. Smooth.