1. Headline
  1. Headline
updated 8/23/2009 1:18:43 AM ET 2009-08-23T05:18:43

John E. Carter, the R&B lead tenor and two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died Friday. He was 75.

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

His death was confirmed by Susan Fine, a spokeswoman for Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Carter's hometown of Harvey.

"We have lost an incredible voice that graced two of the most significant vocal groups of all time," said Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the hall of fame. "As a member of both the Dells and the Flamingos, Johnny was one of a select few artists inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Carter, who was known for his falsetto, was the last surviving founding member of the Flamingos. The classic doo-wop group gained fame with such hits as "Golden Teardrops" and their reworking of the pop classic "I Only Have Eyes for You."

Carter left the Flamingos for the first time in 1957 to do military service, and left permanently in 1960 to join the Dells, which had been formed in the early 1950s by some of his high school friends from Harvey.

Stewart noted that the Dells were one of the longest-running R&B vocal groups. The quintet had no personnel changes after Carter replaced original lead tenor Johnny Funches.

The Dells' 1954 breakout hit, "Oh What A Night," sold more than a million records when it was reissued in 1969 with Carter on falsetto lead. The Dells were also famous for "Stay in My Corner," one of the first R&B hits to run more than six minutes.

The group toured extensively with Dinah Washington, and later with Ray Charles. The Dells also came to the attention of Quincy Jones, who coached them into a more eclectic vocal style, incorporating jazz, soul and Broadway sounds.

The Dells, consisting of Carter, baritone lead Marvin Junior, and backup singers Charles Barksdale, Michael McGill and Verne Allison, served as technical advisers on Robert Townsend's 1991 movie, "The Five Heartbeats," which was loosely based on their careers.

The Dells performed publicly for one of the last times in 2004, when they did an outdoor concert in downtown Chicago to celebrate their induction into the hall of fame.

The Flamingos were inducted in 2000.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    At Home with TODAY: Sheinelle Jones is inviting you for the holidays

    12/19/2014 4:57:16 PM +00:00 2014-12-19T16:57:16
  1. Obama: Sony made a mistake in canceling ‘Interview’ release

    President Barack Obama said Friday that Sony Pictures Entertainment "made a mistake" by nixing the release of a comedic film after the company was hacked and received cyber threats.

    12/19/2014 7:35:43 PM +00:00 2014-12-19T19:35:43
  1. Norman via YouTube

    Owner's Christmas carol singing is a howling disaster for his dog

    12/19/2014 3:39:45 PM +00:00 2014-12-19T15:39:45