The Chantels began their singing careers in 1956, and recorded their biggest hit, “Maybe” in 1957 featuring five talented young ladies from Bronx, NY; Arlene Smith, Lois Harris, Millicent “Sonia” Goring, Jacquelyn Landry and Renee Minus. During the late 1950s, their journey to becoming the number one girl group in America was intense. Each day was filled with rehearsals, music, sound, harmony and selecting just the right songs for their voices. The group met at St. Anthony of Padua’s grammar school while singing liturgical music at St. Anthony of Padua’s church choir. Their choral experience helped to create their beautiful sound and unique harmony.
While working in the business, it was not long before The Chantels were named “The Sweethearts of Rock & Roll". They are well known for hits … He’s Gone, The Plea, Every Night, I Love You So, Look In My Eyes, Eternally and Maybe. After recording their album, lead singer Arlene Smith left the group in 1959 for a solo career. There were several lead singers over the years that retired into private lives, but the group kept going. They toured the United States and performed in the South during the Civil Rights Movement. The Chantels topped the charts and appeared several times on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. They were favorites on shows with top DJ’s including Alan Freed, Georgie Woods, Murray “The K” Kaufman, Hal Jackson and Jocko. The Chantels are renowned for their show-stopping performances at The Apollo Theater, Brooklyn Paramount, The Uptown, Howard and Regal Theaters in the late 50s and early 60s. The Chantels performed on the Las Vegas strip in the early 2000’s; as well as Rock and Roll music cruises. Original member, Jacquelyn Landry Jackson passed away from breast cancer in 1997.
The Chantels were 1996 Inductees into The Rhythm and Blues Foundation and The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.Most recently, NYC honored The Chantels with a street sign named for the group at W.166th St. and Prospect Ave, Bronx, NY, where the group started.
With the three originals, Lois Harris Powell, Sonia Goring Wilson, Renee Minus White and their newest member, Naomi White Randolph, daughter of original member, Renee Minus White, The Chantels continue to sing their popular music to appreciative audiences around the world!