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Archie Bell
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Vocalist
    (September 1, 1944- )
    Born in Henderson, Texas
    Raised in Houston
    Front man for the R&B-funk group Archie Bell & the Drells
    Recorded the song 'Tighten Up'
    Brother Lee Bell was band choreographer
    Older brother of Dazz Band lead vocalist Jerry Bell and NFL running back Ricky Bell
    He is a one hit wonder.
    The reason 'Tighten Up' starts with him saying he's from Houston is a defensive response over hearing a DJ say 'nothing good ever came from Texas' out of grief over the JFK assassination.
    His promoter was using 'Tighten Up' as a B-side and not having luck promoting the A-side until a friend suggested using the flip side (dumb ass promoter).
    Many consider 'Tighten Up' and its 'spoken lyrics' to be a precursor for rap music.
    His group had limited success in the '70s, including trying their hand at disco, and folded in 1980.
    He recorded one solo effort in 1981 without success.
    He was drafted into the Vietnam War and shot in the leg.
    It was while he was in a hospital recovering that 'Tighten Up' hit #1 on Billboard's Singles chart for two weeks. (May 1968)
    The song reached gold record status by selling over one million units.
    He signed with the songwriting team of Gamble and Huff, but demoed many songs that the O'Jays ended up recording.
    He discovered the dark side of the business when he found out the Philadelphia International label was merely using him as a tax write-off.
    His NFL brother Ricky died of heart failure at age 29.
    When asked what exactly is a 'Drell,' he replied, 'A Drell is a gentleman and a well-rounded entertainer. It also means a singin' and dancin' motherfucker!'

Credit: Scar Tactics


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