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The Chambers Brothers

Like their West Coast contemporaries Sly and the Family Stone, the Chambers Brothers shattered racial and musical divides to forge an incendiary fusion of funk, gospel, blues, and psychedelia which reached its apex with the perennial 1968 song "Time Has Come Today." The Chambers siblings -- bassist George, guitarist Willie, harpist Lester, and guitarist Joe, all of whom contributed vocals -- were born and raised in Lee County, MS; the products of an impoverished sharecropping family, the brothers first polished their vocal harmonies in the choir of their Baptist church, a collaboration which ended after George was drafted into the army in 1952. Following his discharge he relocated to Los Angeles, where the other Chambers brothers soon settled as well; the foursome began performing gospel and folk throughout Southern California in 1954, but remained virtually unknown until appearing in New York City in 1965. The addition of white drummer Brian Keenan not only made the Chambers Brothers an interracial group, but pushed their music closer to rock & roll; a well-received appearance at the Newport Folk Festival further enhanced their growing reputation, and they soon recorded their debut LP, People Get Ready.

As the Chambers Brothers toured rock clubs (including the famed Fillmore in San Francisco) and R&B venues (most notably the Apollo Theatre) alike, their music increasingly embraced elements of both; after recording 1968's Shout! for the Vault label, the group signed to Columbia to issue Time Has Come Today, scoring a major pop hit with the title track, an 11-minute psychedelic soul epic in its original album incarnation. The follow-up, A New Time--A New Day, yielded another Top 40 hit, a cover of the Otis Redding's classic "I Can't Turn You Loose," but subsequent efforts including 1969's Love, Peace and Happiness and 1970's Live at Fillmore East failed to maintain the commercial momentum. Upon completing 1972's Oh My God!, the Chambers Brothers disbanded, only to reunite two years later for Unbonded. Right Move appeared in 1975, and although no new studio records were forthcoming, the group regularly performed live in the decades to follow, with the brothers also pursuing individual projects; the Chambers Family Choir, a gospel group including the siblings' own children, remained a priority as well. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

These guys didn't get the success they deserved. Remarkable blend of soul, gospel and rock. Love, Peace and Happiness remains one of my favorite albums - it is timeless music. Saw them with Pacific Gas & Electric 1970ish. Amazing.
Love, Peace and Happiness is terrific, timeless album - amazing blend of gospel, soul and rock. Saw them with Pacific Gas & Electric around 1970 - what a show!
Man they made some mad crazy music
lynntom95
Thanks for the longer version. These guys are great.
Enjoyed them in Seattle at Eagles Auditorium in 1968, especially their 45 minute version of Time Has Come Today. They also did the best version of In the Midnight Hour I have ever heard (Sorry, Wilson Pickett) I wish they just had more long-term success.
cholt3182
Montagna19.. . . f i r s t thing first, kudos to you for finding the internet.... . and i agree the this was some of the best music ever.
Love to listen Time in our bunker Vietnam 68 - What time they were
Jimi Hendrix,Sly and Fam Stone,and Chambers Bro! Biggest Counter Culture Blk Stars of the sixty!s
I'm pleasantly surprised Pandora's playing the full length version. Thank's!
'went to the atlantic city pop festival where i saw the chambers brothers.... . g o o d solid sound
I was. 19 when I first saw the Chambers Bros. At the New Port. Pop festival. 1969 and my time had come that day
Charlie/dink
I was about seventeen or so 1965 66 in hermosa beach & santa monica a little coffee house called the insomniac now that place rocked the sidewalk just before time has come and also the cheatah club at p.o.p. in santa monica it was a trip; litetally.
I was a neighbor/fri e n d of these guys in Stamford Ct. I would follow em to NYC to Springfield Ma. Then to Boston, back to NYC . They were a blast to be around & THAT TIME HAS COME for me to be the best time ever!
Had the pleasure of hearing the Chambers Brothers at a festival in Florida, 1969.. I have some blank spots about a few things those 2 days .... not a problem remembering how the Brothers blew our minds.Amazin g energy. True American artists with universal appeal. A lifetime favorite group..
It was around `65 or 6 & I saw them at an underground show in Sheridan Sq,Don`t know if they were named yet,but had Civil War jackets & were great!
I don't remember the exact year but I do remember the event. It was at a free concert at the greek theater on the berkely campus. The featured group was the chambers bros. That is why we were there. bobby goldsburo was also on the program.He was up first. Poor bobby. When he stared into his first song the place erupted.The chant was we bring on the chambers bros. There was a local fm disk jockey on hand, tom donahue, he tried to restore order but was unable to do so. Finaly he said bring on the
"Time Has Come Today" is a great, anthemic song for my generation(t h e boomers) and I would like younger people to listen to it and all of the Chambers Brothers, a band that bridgrd so many barriers in their heyday.
saw them up-close at the Electric Circus (St. Marks Place, NYC) in '68, then at the Atlantic City Pop Festival in'69 (2 weeks before i went to the Woodstock fest). fantastic live band, and "Time" of course is one of the greatest recordings in rock history: psychedelic funk!
its about TIME !!!~~~!!! TODAY"
Time Has Come Today...This song is an amazing psychedelic performance by the mostly black musicians. I don't care what genre you listen to, if you don't include this hit song, your listening to rubbish!
I would see Willy and Lester hanging out in the East Village in NYC. What laid back cool guys. And such great music.
Time was one of those 'far out' songs that we listened to waiting for it to all come back together again.
Those that remember (if you have it left) know "Time" was way mellow in 1967.

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