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The Chantels

One of the very first girl groups, the Chantels are best-known for their 1957 hit "Maybe." Between 1957 and 1963, the trio racked up a number of hit singles, but none of them were ever as popular as "Maybe," which came to be regarded as one of the definitive singles of the genre.

All five members of the Chantels -- Arlene Smith, Lois Harris, Sonia Goring, Jackie Landry, and Rene Minus -- met as children, when they sang in the choir of Saint Anthony of Padua, a Bronx-area school. Arlene Smith was the leader of the quintet. Smith wrote all of the group's early material and she was the one who convinced the other girls -- whose age ranged between 14 and 17 at the time -- to audition for Richard Barrett, a record producer and a member of the doo wop group the Valentines. Barrett signed the band to End Records and produced the Chantels' first single, a Smith song called "He's Gone." Released in the summer of 1957, the single peaked at number 71. However, the group's second single -- another Smith composition called "Maybe" -- was a smash hit, peaking at number two on the R&B charts and number 15 on the pop charts in early 1958. "Maybe" sold more copies than its chart position suggests; the single was pirated by several other small record labels and none of those sales were tallied for the final chart position.

For the next year, the Chantels tried in vain to deliver a follow-up as successful as "Maybe." Two hit singles -- "Every Night (I Pray)" and "I Love You So" -- followed on End Records, but the label dropped them after a handful of other records failed to make an impact. Around that time, Smith left the group to pursue a solo career and Harris had left the group. The Chantels replaced Smith with vocalist Annette Smith (no relation) and continued as a quartet.

In the summer of 1959, the group supported Richard Barrett on his single, "Summer's Love," which peaked at number 29 on the R&B charts. In 1961, the Chantels signed with Carlton Records, where they had two minor pop hits: "Look in My Eyes" and "Well, I Told You." Carlton dropped the group the following year and the band moved to Ludix, where they had a minor hit with "Eternally" in the spring of 1963.

The Chantels continued performing until the end of the decade; they officially disbanded in 1970. A few years later, Arlene Smith re-formed the Chantels, recruiting four new members; the other original members all retired from the entertainment business. Smith continued to lead various incarnations of the Chantels into the '90s. When she wasn't touring the oldies circuit with the Chantels, Smith worked as a schoolteacher. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Doo Wop: Vocal Group Greats

Disc 1

2. The Glory Of Love

3. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

4. Love Walked In

5. Twilight Time

6. Blue Velvet

7. The Wind

8. Work With Me Annie

9. My Memories Of You

11. The Letter

12. A Casual Look

13. Please Send Me Someone To Love

15. Count Every Star

16. Every Night (I Pray)

18. Bad Boy

19. Sixty-Minute Man

Disc 2

1. For Sentimental Reasons

2. The Girl I Love

3. I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent

4. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

5. Come Softly To Me

6. Chapel Of Dreams

7. Happy, Happy Birthday Baby

8. Don't You Just Know It

9. Little Bitty Pretty One

10. Down The Aisle Of Love

11. A Million To One

12. Once Upon A Time

13. Moonlight Cocktails

15. At The Hop

16. Little Darlin'

17. Lonely Way

18. Sea Of Love

20. I Believe

Disc 3

1. A Wonderful Dream

2. Village Of Love

3. The Angels Listened In

4. It Happened Today

5. My Own True Love

6. Love Came To Me

7. Come On Little Angel

8. I Count The Tears

9. Let Me In

10. Smoky Places

12. This Magic Moment

13. Angel Baby

14. Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)

15. The Lion Sleeps Tonight

16. A Thousand Stars

17. You've Really Got A Hold On Me

18. Will You Love Me Tomorrow

19. You Were Mine

20. Forever

x

Track List: Encyclopedia Of Doo Wop: Volume 5

Disc 1

2. They Say

3. Is There A Love For Me

5. Cruise To The Moon

7. Alphabet Of Love

8. Cry Like I Cried

9. Stormy Weather

10. Runaround

11. I'll Pray For You

12. Wedding Bells

17. Angel Face

18. Crazy For You

19. Ding Dong

20. There Goes My Girl

21. Heaven Above Me

23. Darling Can't You Tell

24. Rip Van Winkle

25. Let It Please Be You

Disc 2

1. Zoom

2. Little Girl Of Mine

3. Im Not A Know It All

4. Your Way

5. Rendezvous With You

6. I Cried My Heart Out

7. Sympathy

8. Too Young

9. Two People In The World

10. I Talk To My Echo

11. Goodbye To Love

12. I Found

13. Dont Ask Me To Be Lonely

17. Natures Creation

19. Baby Baby

21. Rubber Biscuit

24. Thats The Way It Goes

25. He's Gone

Disc 3

1. Gee

3. Baby

4. Traveling Stranger

5. Sugar Sugar

6. Goodbye To Love

7. Our Love Will Never End

10. On Sunday Afternoon

12. Woo Woo Train

13. You Are So Beautiful

15. That's My Desire

16. I Found Out Why

17. Be Sure My Love

18. Paper Castles

19. You Can Come If You Want To

21. You Baby You

24. Don't Say Goodnight

25. Forever

Disc 4

1. A Thousand Miles Away

2. Little Boy Blue

3. String Around My Heart

5. Beside My Love

6. I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent

7. I Love You Darling

8. In My Lonely Room

10. Summertime

12. You Are

14. Share

15. I Love You So

18. Whisper (Softly)

19. Diamonds & Pearls

20. Snow White

24. Teenage Love

25. Your Last Chance

x

Track List: Joel Whitburn Presents: Top Pop Treasures 1958

1. Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay

2. Leroy

3. Maybe Baby

4. Guess Things Happen That Way

5. You Cheated

6. For Your Precious Love

7. Maybe

9. Buzz Buzz Buzz

10. The Little Blue Man

x

Track List: Lowrider Oldies, Vol. 5

1. One Summer Night

2. Could This Be Magic

3. Dedicated To The One I Love

4. My True Story

5. Look In My Eyes

6. There's A Moon Out Tonight

7. Maybe

8. Daddy's Home

9. A Thousand Miles Away

10. So Fine

11. I'm So Proud

12. A Sunday Kind Of Love

x

Track List: The 50s

1. Jim Dandy

2. Lipstick On Your Collar

3. Maybe

4. Sweet Nothin's

5. Mr. Lee

6. Eddie My Love

7. Lollipop

8. Lucky Lips

9. Born Too Late

10. Lullaby Of The Bells

11. The Big Hurt

12. What A Diff'rence A Day Makes

14. The Wayward Wind

15. Alone (Why Must I Be Alone)

16. Pink Shoe Laces

17. Cry Baby

18. Ivory Tower

20. Teach Me Tonight

22. Tonight You Belong To Me

23. Don't You Know

24. Lonely Nights

25. Cry Me A River

x

Track List: The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 4

1. Linda Lu

2. Little By Little

3. Rama Lama Ding Dong

5. New Orleans

6. Maybe

7. Drip Drop

8. Start Movin' (In My Direction)

9. Lonely Saturday Night

10. Don't Let Go

11. Pop Pop Pop Pie

13. High School USA

14. Glory Of Love

15. Peanuts

16. Need You

17. Party Doll

18. Could This Be Magic

19. Killer Joe

21. Peek-A-Boo

22. You'll Lose A Good Thing

24. Tears On My Pillow

25. Baby Talk

26. Here I Stand

27. (Do The) Mashed Potatoes (Part 1)

28. Why Don't You Write Me?

30. Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)

Comments

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I'm sorry
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Arlene Smith see could sing to me for a long time
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I would love to go back and look into her eyes
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Love them all!
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Another great song. The best girl group of all.
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Do not let this group fade silently in the night . they are co-equal with the five satins as all time NO. 1
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My Favorite Female Oldies Group Of All Times... "The Chantels"
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I agree the Chantel are best
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Love this group
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To me this group was one of the best from 1957 through 1963. They bring back memories of my youth.
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great sounds --gal sitting on a63CHEVY IMPALA...CUS T O M I Z E D W SWIRL CHROME TAILIGHT INSERTS.
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Love the Chantels,als o love Look in my eyes.
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I I grew up with this music.The music of today just can't can't compete with Motown and Doowop
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lawpete49
This is the definition of Old School
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Likealltheso n g s u s i n g
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Maybe was the Love song of the late 1950's....
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Awesome !
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what are the names of all members of the chantels
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bbgjono
Best all time ever group! Male or FEMALE! Arlene Smith is the greatest singer EVER,! No could ever copy her rendition of Maybe! No one else could hit those notes!
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MAYBE















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Ah the chantels, I have two (2) copies of the original album with the girls in front of the jukebox.
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Deborah, a very ice tribute to your mother!
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THE CHANTLEL'S REMIND ME OF MY MOM GROWING UP IN CHINO SHE WOULD SING ALL THE SONGS AND WAS A GOOD SINGER SO WHEN I HEAR THEM SING IT MOTHER I MISS YOU WE ALL DO RIP SEE YOU SOMEDAY LOVE YOU
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izzympa117
Love the Chantel's, a Love long ago and missed!
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Fantastic. "Maybe" has to be one of the greatest songs ever by an all-out group.
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Such a powerful beautiful voice! !!!!
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Arlene Smith is alive and kicking. I keep in touch with her, especially on her birthday, October 5th.
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I love the Chantels Maybe, The Plea, and He's Gone! Do you remember the hot dances in the basement? RLH
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cameronjbark e r 2
I love my Auntie S. So proud to see all these vans have awesome things to say about you and the girls. Keep working on that knee so you can continue traveling giving the people want they truly love and miss.
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buzzpaul5
There is a cd that covers most of their songs...at least 20
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Arlene Smith is alive and still singing. She's terrific when she can hear herself. She's very good.
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to grzinnj, there is a greatest hits CD for this group, my all time fav girl group, in the 60's I was in love w. Arlene Smith never knowing what she looked like, I fell in love with her voice.
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Shame there isn't a Greatest Hits or Best Of collection for this group. I've heard quite a few of their songs on Pandora that lead me to want much more!
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I Love You So is one of the greatest R&B R&R songs that was ever recorded, IMO!
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Maybe is one of the greatest R&B R&R song that was ever recorded, IMO!
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my favorite girl group
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Booby.d
When im cruzin in my show truck this song sounds great with the sound of my big block chevy in the back ground
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hymandonald
Arlene Smith is true First Lady of Rock and Roll and she deserves the best. Not only is she one of the greatest voices of in the world but she is one of the sweetest and graceful ladies I have been blessed to meet in this life. Arlene keep on singing because it is one of the things that make life beautiful!!!
Thank you for being a part of my life
Donald the Soul Man Hyman
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Arlene Smith and the Chantels were the greatest girl group.
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These gals sure could sing up a storm, and the harmony--WOW
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one of the best oldies EVER...I'm glad Pandora plays it
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need to go to Lead East 50's party on labor day for the Chantels
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My favorite is I love you so
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Maybe is one of my favorite songs by the Chantels! Classic!
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Listened to the Chantels while setting pins late at night in the bowling alley!
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Arlene Smith and the Chantels were on of the great ladies groups of all times and still can sing today. If they had the right management and label they could have been bigger than the Supremes. Arlene can still hit those high notes today
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Nice
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betiful song
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Had the opportunity to see the grp & hear this song on 1 of the DooWop specials.
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Still love that girl.
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