Major Lance Biography
Major Lance was an American R&B singer. After a string of US hits in the 1960s, including “The Monkey Time” and “Um, Um, Um, Um,Um, he became a household name among Northern Soul fans in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. Major Lance continued to play at concerts and on tours until his death in 1994, despite the fact that he ceased releasing music in 1982. Keisha Lance Bottoms, his daughter, was Atlanta’s mayor.
The year of Major Lance’s birth has been disputed; some accounts indicate he was born in 1941 or 1942. (as Lance claimed). However, the year of his birth looks to be 1939.In the 1940 United States Census, “Mager” Lance is identified as the one-year-old son of Lucendy Lance, a widow, in Washington County, Mississippi. Lance’s gravestone also states that he was born in the year 1939. ‘Major’ was his real name, not a stage name or a nickname.
In the mid-1950s, Lance and Otis Leavill founded the Floats, but they disbanded before releasing any material. Lance was a featured dancer on a local television show called Time for Teens, and host Jim Lounsbury signed him to Mercury Records on a one-time deal. Mercury’s single “I Got a Girl,” written and produced by Curtis Mayfield, was released in 1959 but failed to chart. Over the next few years, Lance worked at a variety of jobs.
On Mayfield’s advice, he joined Okeh Records in 1962. Lance kept popping up at the Okeh headquarters, offering to do Carl Davis’ errands and telling him about the album he’d once recorded and how he and Curtis Mayfield had been boyhood friends. His first single, “Delilah,” was not a hit, but it cemented his working relationship with Mayfield, Carl Davis, and Johnny Pate, as well as backing vocals from members of Mayfield’s group, the Impressions. In contrast to music produced elsewhere, they developed a distinct, Latin-tinged sound that epitomized Chicago soul.
Major Lance’s first hit was the second Okeh record, “The Monkey Time” (also written by Curtis Mayfield), which reached No. 2 on the Billboard R&B list and No. 8 on the mainstream chart in 1963. Okeh’s first hit single in ten years was “The Monkey Time.” “It was my first time working with Carl Davis,” Pate explained. “We had a great time making some fantastic music.”
“Hey Little Girl,” “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um” (his biggest hit, reaching No. 5 on the US pop chart and No. 40 in the UK, where it was his only chart success), “The Matador” (the only one not written by Mayfield), “Rhythm,” “Sometimes I Wonder,” “Come See,” and “Ain’t It a Shame” were among the hits that followed quickly.
In 1965 Pate left Okeh, and Mayfield began to concentrate on working with his own group. Lance and Davis continued to work together; “Too Hot to Hold” was a minor hit, but they had diminishing success before Davis in turn left the company
Lance toured the United Kingdom in the 1960s with Bluesology, a band that included pianist Reggie Dwight, afterwards known as Elton John.
He collaborated with many producers over the next two years, with “Without a Doubt” being a small hit in 1968. Lance soon departed Okeh for Dakar Records, where he had a Top 40 R&B hit with “Follow the Leader.” His last two Top 40 R&B successes, “Stay Away from Me (I Love You Too Much)” and “Must Be Love Coming Down,” were released on Mayfield’s Curtom label. [Jet Magazine’s “Soul Brothers Top 20” ranked “Stay Away from Me” at No. 4]. In 1971, he departed Curtom and temporarily recorded for the Volt and Columbia labels.
He released The Major’s Back, a comeback album, and numerous tunes for the Kat Family label. In June 1994, he had his final performance at the 11th Chicago Blues Festival.
Lance suffered a heart attack in 1987. Glaucoma nearly blinded him later in life. As a result, he didn’t record anything else. He died of heart illness in his sleep in Decatur, Georgia, in 1994, at the age of fifty-five. He is interred in Homewood, Illinois’ Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery.
|The Very Best of Major Lance|
|Live at Hinkley|
|The Major’s Back|
|Major Lance’s Greatest Hits Recorded Live at the Torch|
|The Rhythm of Major Lance|
|Major’s Greatest Hits|
|Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um|
|The Monkey Time|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Song Is Major Lance Famous For?
“The Monkey Time” is a song recorded by Major Lance in 1963. It was written by Curtis Mayfield and produced by Carl Davis. The song reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart and number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. It was ranked as the fourth best-selling single of 1963 by Cash Box magazine.
What Is Genre Of Major Lance?
Major Lance was a rhythm and blues singer who was popular in the 1960s. His biggest hit was “The Monkey Time”, which reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963. He also had hits with “The Matador” and “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um”. Major Lance died in 1994.
What Is The Most Famous Song Of Major Lance?
The most famous song of Major Lance is “The Monkey Time”. It was a huge hit in the early 1960s and has been covered by many artists over the years.
How Many Albums Of Major Lance?
Major Lance released a total of six albums during his career. These include “The Monkey Time” (1963), “The Major Works” (1964), “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um” (1964), “Sorrowful” (1965), “Rhythm” (1966) and “City Lights” (1967). He also released several singles, most notably “The Monkey Time” and “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um”, which both reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Major Lance died in 1994 at the age of 60.
What Is First Album Of Major Lance?
“The first album of Major Lance was ‘The Memphis Sound.’ It was released in 1967 and featured the hit singles ‘The Monkey Time’ and ‘Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um.