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Chosen Few


A native of Memphis, Elvin Spencer had relocated to Chicago after mustering out of the military at the end of the 1960s. Via mutual friends, Elvin Spencer connected with percussionist Lamar Bell, then in the early stages of forming the generically named Chosen Few with bassist Dexter Gordon. The group was rounded out by guitarists Rico Collins, “James,” an unnamable drummer, and Spencer. With the Chosen Few, Brown only added the Bandit label’s crudely drawn logo. Bandit’s 1974 issue of “Lift This Hurt” and “You Been Unfair” was pulled straight from Twinight’s master reels, a move gleaned from Brown’s dealings with Ed O’Kelley and USA Records on “My Heart Would Never Lie To Me. ”Incensed over Bandit’s backward priorities, the Chosen Few severed ties with Brown and founded their own Chosen Few Records out of spite, issuing “Lift This Hurt” yet again. Brown was unfazed. In 1975, the band issued a single on Chuck Sibit’s Mod-Art label, followed by a bluesy Rico Collins & the Chosen Few 45 on their vanity imprint. Despite their lack of success as recording artists, the band was still popular as a club act, regularly appearing on the south and west sides of Chicago throughout the ’70s. Chi-Sound’s Carl Davis recruited the act to record and tour behind his hitmakers the Chi-Lites and Walter Jackson, where they stayed until Jackson’s death in 1983. Out of gas, the Chosen Few chose to proceed as just one. Solo for the first time in a decade, Elvin Spencer did what came naturally, trotting “Lift This Hurt” out for one final run on his own E.S. Cozy label.


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