Lester Chambers, a founding member of and the lead vocalist for one of the great…
Written by megarock on April 13, 2018
Lester Chambers, a founding member of and the lead vocalist for one of the great bands of the 60’s and 70’s, The Chambers Brothers is celebrating his 78th birthday today.
As a member of the Chambers Brothers, he sang lead on the Chambers Brothers songs “All Strung Out Over You,” “People Get Ready,” “Uptown,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” and “Funky.”
Chambers has reported that despite the group’s success, he did not receive any royalty payments from 1967 to 1994. In a chat session on the Soul Patrol website, he discussed such injustices that many black artists have endured.
In 2002 his wife, Lola Chambers, testified before the California Senate hearings on Label Accounting Practices that “Time Has Come Today” earned the group under $250 in royalties for the European market over 16 years. She said that Columbia Records told them that “there were no overseas sales to report because The Chambers Brothers records were never licensed to an overseas distributor”. But she later discovered copies on eBay of numerous foreign pressings of their records on Columbia foreign affiliate labels for which they were not compensated.
In 2003, the home of Lola and Lester Chambers was broken in to and their record collection, consisting of over sixty Chambers Brothers albums and over one hundred singles, was stolen. Lola Chambers had spent twenty five years collecting Chambers Brothers records at various venues to leave these for their sons. Lester Chambers developed a number of medical problems that went untreated because he lacked insurance. He later became homeless, sleeping in a rehearsal hall in Novato, California, until Yoko Ono paid to rent a home for him and his son Dylan.
Lester is still performing. On July 13, 2013, he was attacked while performing on stage in Hayward, CA.
Did you know the The Chambers Brothers rented out their basement in the house in LA to the Alice Cooper band way back when? It was through the Brothers the the band met their manager Shep Gordon.
Happy Birthday Lester.