Tag Archives: Pat and Pam

Lucky Cordell: The Baron of Bounce… and Chicago Radio Royalty.

lucky cordell2

Moses Lucky Cordell was born July 28, 1928 in Mississippi. His mother died when Lucky was three, and his family moved to Chicago. Cordell graduated from Dunbar High School in 1946. He went on to a long career in Chicago Radio, initially as a disc jockey (known as the “Baron of Bounce”) and by 1970, he became General Manager at the storied WVON.  He also produced records by local artidance crazests such as Heaven and Earth, as well as athis is the woman lesser-known soul group called New Image (1977).

He even released a number of spoken-word records under his own name, which all dealt with themes of love, upliftment, spirituality, and building positive character. The songs had titles like “Happiness”, “You Made a Man out of Me”, “Good Morning Lord”, “A Great Day”, and “This is the Woman I Love” (1969). “This is the Woman I Love” was written and produced by fellow radio disc jockey Richard Pegue. Initially released on Pegue’s Nickel label, the record was picked up for national distribution by Cotillion Records.

Lucky Cordell’s two daughters were also recording artists, releasing two very good records under the name “Pat & Pam” in the early 1970s (click here for more on that).

Cordell was socially engaged and politically minded. He left full-time radio in the 1980s to pursue work with the Chicago Urban League and Operation PUSH.

Cordell died tragically on July 7th of this year at the age of 86 from injuries sustained in a fire at his South Shore home.

According to sources close to the family, he put himself in harm’s way attempting to save his daughter, Pat, who became trapped. The fire began in her bedroom, according to her sister Pamela. The fire was reportedly started by smoking materials.

Under Lucky Cordell’s leadership, WVON became “one of the biggest radio stations in Chicago”, as well as “one of the most influential R&B stations in the country”, according to chicagoradioandmedia.com. Here’s a recording of Lucky Cordell in rare form:

Pat and Pam: sisters in soul.

Pat and Pam Cordell were twin singers who followed in the great tradition of Chicago Kiddie (or in their case, Teen) Soul in the early 1970s. They also happened to be original WVON Good Guy Lucky Cordell‘s daughters. Lucky Cordell (pictured at left) was a disc jockey turned General Manager at one of the most influential Soul Radio Stations in the country. That had to have helped in getting some airplay in the day. What also helped was having some of the best songwriters, arrangers, and session musicians in the game working on their cuts.

Word on the street says that though they were young, they were quite adamant about recording more adult fare than most young recording artists were at the time (no talk of school books-and-stolen-looks here).

They only released two singles, but both are lovely and worth seeking out. Below, enjoy “I Love You, Yes I Do”, a rollicking Chicago stepper that never fails to impress at my gigs around town.