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Chairmen of the Board

Chairmen of the Board

Recording careerGeneral Johnson (1943 - 2010) had a hit as the lead singer of The Showmen in the early 1960s, with the New Orleans rock and roll anthem "It Will Stand" and Carolina Beach classic "39-21-40 Shape".When Holland/Dozier/Holland left Motown in 1967 to establish their own Invictus/Hot Wax group of record labels, they teamed Johnson up with Eddie Custis, Danny Woods and Canadian born Harrison Kennedy as the new company's flagship act, under the appropriate name "Chairmen of the Board". Custis left the group after their second album.Though they all had a turn at lead vocals, it was Johnson's quirky hiccup-laden style and his songwriting that became increasingly showcased, with the group selling a million plus copies of their single, "Give Me Just a Little More Time". The disc was released in December 1969, reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100, with one million sales confirmed in May 1970, when the group were presented with a gold record by the R.I.A.A. Chairmen of the Board also charted with "(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String", "Everything's Tuesday", "Pay to the Piper", "Finders Keepers" and (in the UK) "Working on a Building of Love" and "Elmo James". They also recorded the original version of "Patches", a 1970 hit for Clarence Carter, whose recording received a Grammy Award in 1971.Kennedy, Woods and Johnson all went on to record solo albums, whilst Johnson wrote and produced (with Greg Perry) for other Invictus/Hot Wax acts, notably Honey Cone. Kennedy having left, Johnson and Woods toured the UK in 1976 with six musicians as Chairmen of the Board. The final night of the tour was at Middleton Civic Hall on March 11, 1976. The act was broken up immediately afterwards, Johnson having signed for Arista Records as a solo artist.In 1978, Johnson reformed the Chairmen of the Board along with Danny Woods and Ken Knox. In 1980, the new Chairmen founded Surfside Records, for which the group still records. Surfside Records is an independent record label based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The reformed group had a regional hit with "Carolina Girls", a popular beach music song in North and South Carolina.The Chairmen of the Board were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 1999.General Johnson continued to perform with Woods and Knox as the "Chairmen of the Board" until his death from lung cancer in 2010.After Johnson's death, Woods took the band members on tour as The Board Of Directors in 2011. Woods also created The Danny Woods Show with the band The Party Prophets and Cindy Floyd. Woods also continues to write and record new songs and developed the Music Tree Recording label. Knox continues to tour as Ken Knox and Company with Thomas Hunter and Richard (Riche' Rich) Figueroa. Both Woods and Knox were still performing in 2013. In 2014, former member Figueroa is performing with The Legacy Motown Revue nationally and has formed his own group, Champagne Life.In 2013, former member Harrison Kennedy was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Acoustic Artist' category.


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