JOHN CARTER

John Carter

AUGUST 25, 2009

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. Joe 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