Chairman Of The Board

Daddy B. Nice's #42 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Chairman Of The Board by Daddy B. Nice
 



Sample or Buy


Due to repeated requests. . .




From artists, their familes, friends and fans. . .




For a limited time only. . .




From Daddy B. Nice's archives. . .




Over 100 Southern Soul drawings. . .




Original Daddy B. Nice sketches. . .




All caricatures and satirical renderings are untitled. . .




It's a little piece of history. . .




For those in the "know". . .




Who want a keepsake, memento or souvenir. . .




To commemorate their time. . .




In the Southern Soul limelight.




Browse through all the Southern Soul satirical sketches in Daddy B. Nice's archives.




Browse through all the Southern Soul sketches in Daddy B. Nice's archives.




Browse through all the Southern Soul collectibles in Daddy B. Nice's Southern Soul Products Store. . .



"All In The Family"

Chairman Of The Board

Composed by General Johnson


"It's all in the family,
Blood is thicker than water."

General Johnson

Like Southern soul icon and producer Senator Jones, General Johnson was the real birth name of General Norman Johnson. Around 2005 and 2006, when his group Chairman of the Board made inroads in the chitlin' circuit with a dazzling album titled All In The Family Southern Soul, most Southern Soul fans--including your Daddy B. Nice--knew next to nothing about the group or Johnson, its lead singer.

Was it the same Chairman of the Board who recorded "Give Me Just A Little More Time" back in soul music's heyday in the late sixties and early seventies? The answer was yes, although the personnel behind General Johnson had changed over the ensuing decades.

General Johnson and the original Chairman Of The Board had even recorded a version of "All in The Family" in those dawn-tinted disco days, but the arrangement was radically different, reflecting the starry-eyed romanticism of the era.

Listen to General Johnson & The Chairman Of The Board singing the original, disco-era version of "All In The Family."

Ironically, the 21st-century Southern Soul version of "All In the Family," a far grittier, more soulful tour de force, is not available on YouTube.

Sample the new, Southern Soul version of "All In The Family." (Unfortunately, without a snippet of the majestic chorus.)

Johnson's 21st-century "All In The Family" was far more rooted in everyday life, with a Staples-like harmonizing that had longtime Southern Soul insiders shaking their heads in awe. Where had this preternaturally-endowed and seasoned band been hiding?

The answer was North Carolina and the Beach Music scene, where General Johnson had taken his talents after tiring of the vicissitudes of the national music industry. A writer and producer and even something of a philosopher of the soul music genre, Johnson had opined that the indie music scene was preferable to the disappointments and lack of creative control on the national level.

In the Carolinas and the Beach Music world Johnson and The Chairman of The Board were royalty, with a modest but steady recording history and a ready-made audience for live appearances.

Over the past twenty years in particular the Southeast has almost by default become the prime talent ground for indigenous popular American music, with Southern Soul in Mississippi and surrounding states, Beach music to the east (the Carolinas) and Zydeco to the west (Lousiana).

The relative purity and originality of the forms derives from the area's relative isolation and insularity from the greater national culture. If Southern Soul can be said to feature the "blackest" sound, Beach music is best understood as a "black-with-white" or "black-with-cream" sound.

Chairman of the Board, however, turned that generalization on its head. To this day few Southern Soul singers sound as "black" as General Johnson, whose lacerating tenor recalls the best and deepest Southern Soul singers, including O. V. Wright, Wilson Pickett and James Carr. And All In The Family, the group's latter-day masterpiece, is as black, deep and joyful as the best work of those masters.

"Daddy lost his pay check
Gambling all night long.

Baby sister had a baby
A boyfriend refused to own.

Big brother was strung out.
Daddy wanted to throw him out.

But Momma said, 'No!
He's our flesh and blood.

And together
We can work it out.'

Momma said,
'It's all in the family.
Blood is thicker than water.

In trying times
In our love we find
The strength to
Keep on keeping on."

The last two couplets comprise the chorus, and the harmonies--along with General Johnson's impassioned lead--transport the music to heights seldom seen in Southern Soul. The backing band rolls out the solid bottom and resounding melody like a red carpet unfurling ahead of Johnson's vocal.

No aspiring Southern Soul performer could go wrong imitating All In The Family down to its most delicate aspects. It does everything a great Southern Soul song should do and more. There is not one false note, not one thin phrase. The rhythm track is peerless, the lead vocal a national treasure, the harmonizing on the chorus a primer in steet-corner, Persuasions-style doo wop, the melody as brawny and sturdy as the top classics of the Southern Soul genre.

But it is by no means the only song of note in Chairman Of The Board's oeuvre. "The Blacker The Berry" and "That's My Story" rival the band's signature tune in their authentic extraction of all that's most durable and passionate in black cultural life outside the urban-smooth and hiphop-fashion mainstream.

"The Blacker The Berry" has a Tyrone Davis feel, with the guitar-dominated arrangement reminiscent of Chicago's Davis and classic Motown standards further augmented by a simple, high-flying, keyboard line that whistles like small town's noon-hour siren.

That's My Story has similar blood lines, with a Four Tops-like rhythm track and an incomparable, half-screaming vocal by Johnson.

The Chairman of the Board catalog is an overlooked resource for practically any Southern Soul artist looking for inspiration or a re-connect with the musical elements that attract the cutting-edge black audience. The Jo-Us Band ("I'll Be Doggone") and The Rhythm All-Stars ("Stuck") are bands whose hits reflect the influence of General Johnson.

For Southern Soul fans, the albums of note are General Johnson & Chairman Of The Board's last two:

All In The Family Southern Soul

and. . .

Soul Tapestry.

General Johnson passed away October 13, 2010.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Chairman Of The Board

General Norman Johnson was born May 23, 1941 in Norfolk, Virginia. Johnson started singing at 6 with his father in church. By age 12, he was singing with a group called the Humdingers. At 18, he hit the charts with his first hit, "It Will Stand" with the Showmen, a group of his high school pals. The song charted in both 1961 and 1964.

In his autobiography, pop singer Neil Sedaka honored that song, saying Johnson's voice haunted him.

"As I traveled from city to city, the record sounded different in each place, almost as if the change of scenery altered the mood. ... I tried to capture the same kind of enthusiasm and mood in a song of my own" - which turned out to be "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do."

Johnson moved to Detroit in the late sixties and signed with the Invictus label with the help of the songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland. Johnson recruited Danny Woods (ex-The Showmen), Harrison Kennedy, and Eddie Curtis to form Chairmen of the Board. Their debut single, "Give Me Just a Little More Time" was a million-seller, rising to #3 on Billboard's R&B chart in 1970. Further hits included "You've Got Me Dangling on a String" and "Everything's Tuesday."

General Johnson left Invictus under duress and signed with big-label Arista for one album in the seventies, by which time he was writing songs, including the Grammy Award winning "Patches" for Clarence Carter.

In 1978, Johnson reformed the Chairmen of the Board along with Danny Woods and Ken Knox, and in 1980 he founded Surfside Records, 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.

Johnson preferred the career of an independent artist, he said, because he valued creative control and savored beach music, and his beach-music concerts routinely drew thousands of Carolinans and Virginians. Surfside Records released a beach music song discography spanning the 80's and 90's as follows:

1. Bless Your Heart
2. Carolina Girl
3. Gone Fishin'
4. Dreamin'
5. On the Beach
6. It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way You Do It)
7. Summer Love8. Loverboy
8. Loverboy
9. I Wanna Doop, Doop, Doop (Your Do Wop She Do Wop)
10. A Bird in the Hand
11. Jerry's in Love
12. Down at the Beach
13. When Can I See you Again
14. Beach Fever
15. There's No Me Without You
16. You Don't Know What Love is
17. I'd Rather Be in Carolina

Discographers Bosko Asanovic and Dave Rimmer posted a much more comprehensive summary of the band's work through 1992. See Soulful Kinda Music for an in-depth discography of Chairman Of The Board.

As General Johnson and Chairman Of The Board's popularity grew in the Southeast, Johnson took note of the re-emergence of Southern Soul music in the Delta and Gulf Coast states, and in 2004 Chairman Of The Board released an album entitled All In The Family Southern Soul, garnering popular and highly-praised chitlin' circuit singles with "All In The Family" and "The Blacker The Berry."

The 21st-Century Chairman Of The Board's and General Johnson's fame quickly spread through the southern soul and soul blues worlds, joining other southeast-coast acts such as Roy C and Hardway Connection as bona fide chitlin' circuit draws.

The band followed All In The Family Southern Soul with 2009's Soul Tapestry, notching another Southern Soul hit single with "That's My Story," a humorous take on the perennial chitlin' circuit theme of cheating husbands.

General Norman Johnson died on October 13, 2010, in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, where he had resided in recent years.



Song's Transcendent Moment

"All for one,
One for all.
Together we stand,
Divided we fall.

When your back
Is up against the wall,
You can count on your family
To come when you call."


Tidbits

1.

May 5, 2012:

Listen to General Johnson and Ken Knox of Chairman of the Board being interviewed by Darin and Anita of Grand Strand about ALL IN THE FAMILY.


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked The Staples Singers' "Respect Yourself," you'll love General Johnson and Chairman Of The Board's "All In The Family."


Honorary "B" Side

"That's My Story (And I'm Stickin' To It)"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy All In The Family by  Chairman Of The Board
All In The Family


CD: All In The Family Southern Soul
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
All In The Family Southern Soul


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy That's My Story (And I'm Stickin' To It) by  Chairman Of The Board
That's My Story (And I'm Stickin' To It)


CD: Soul Tapestry
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
Soul Tapestry


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Blacker The Berry (Sweeter The Juice) by  Chairman Of The Board
Blacker The Berry (Sweeter The Juice)


CD: Soul Tapestry
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
All In The Family Southern Soul


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Give Me Just A Little More Time by  Chairman Of The Board
Give Me Just A Little More Time


CD: Greatest Hits

Sample or Buy
Greatest Hits


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Gone Fishin' by  Chairman Of The Board
Gone Fishin'


CD: All In The Family Southern Soul
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
All In The Family Southern Soul


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Three Women (In My Life) by  Chairman Of The Board
Three Women (In My Life)


CD: Soul Tapestry
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
Soul Tapestry


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy What A Woman Wants by  Chairman Of The Board
What A Woman Wants


CD: Soul Tapestry
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
Soul Tapestry


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Gotta Crawl Before You Walk by  Chairman Of The Board
You Gotta Crawl Before You Walk


CD: Soul Tapestry
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
Soul Tapestry


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Can't Get Over You by  Chairman Of The Board
Can't Get Over You


CD: Soul Tapestry
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
Soul Tapestry


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Carolina Girls by  Chairman Of The Board
Carolina Girls


CD: Beach Music Anthology
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
Beach Music Anthology
Sample or Buy
Beach Music Anthology


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Chances Are by  Chairman Of The Board
Chances Are


CD: Soul Tapestry
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
Soul Tapestry


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Handsome Man by  Chairman Of The Board
Handsome Man


CD: All In The Family Southern Soul
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
All In The Family Southern Soul


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy It Ain't What You Do (It's How You Do It) by  Chairman Of The Board
It Ain't What You Do (It's How You Do It)


CD: All In The Family Southern Soul
Label: Surfside

Sample or Buy
All In The Family Southern Soul


Browse Through
Daddy B. Nice's
'Bargain CD' Store


©2005-2017 SouthernSoulRnB.com

All material--written or visual--on this website is copyrighted and the exclusive property of SouthernSoulRnB.com, LLC. Any use or reproduction of the material outside the website is strictly forbidden, unless expressly authorized by SouthernSoulRnB.com. (Material up to 300 words may be quoted without permission if "Daddy B. Nice's Southern Soul RnB.com" is listed as the source and a link to http://www.southernsoulrnb.com/ is provided.)