Exclusively for the MHS Class of 1966 50th Reunion, The Chancellors are bringing "the Loose Ends" horn section in order to authentically perform some of th era's top R&B/Soul dance songs by such artist as Sam & Dave, James Brown, Otis Redding, The Four Tops, etc.
The Chancellors were one of the hottest dance bands in central Arkansas between 1965 and 1968. Along with The Playboys and The Coachmen from Little Rock, they performed at premier high school dances, fraternity parties, and other events of the era.
While The Coachmen and Playboys relied heavily on rhythm & blues numbers to please their audiences, The Chancellors ignited the dance floor with cutting-edge songs from the period that would later define the 1960s.
Riding the wave of the British Invasion, The Chancellors offered interpretations of songs from the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Hollies, Dave Clark Five, Kinks, and Animals. They also covered Paul Revere & The Raiders, America’s own answer to the British Invasion along with tunes from the Righteous Brothers, Beach Boys, Byrds and many more. Wearing Beatle boots & Beatle haircuts they were both cool and continental. They could have just as easily called Liverpool their home as Conway, Arkansas.
The band formed in the summer of 1965 around Mike Grimes, vocals & guitar, Richard Palmer on bass guitar, Billy Zellner, vocals & keyboards, and lead singer Jack Fulmer. All had experience in previous bands. Rounding out the band on drums was its youngest member, 15-year-old Blake Browning. Blakey had already been performing for about a year with The Teen Beats, but his move to The Chancellors in early 1966 was like moving to the “big leagues.” The band spent many hours rehearsing and quickly mastered the hottest songs of the day – many with three and four-part vocal harmonies.
The Chancellors traveled to Tyler, Texas in 1966 to record at the legendary Robin Hood Studios and were offered a contract to record for Paula Records of Shreveport, Louisiana. Robin Hood Brian had already built a clientele of small record labels and recording artist from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. The studio had Billboard hits with “Mountain of Love” by David Houston and “Not Too Long Ago” by The Uniques.
The Chancellors’ recording career was to be short-lived and the band began to break up after Jack Fulmer was drafted in 1967 – not by the U.S. Army, but the San Francisco Giants to play professional baseball. The remaining members pursued other interests, but Blake Browning and Mike Grimes went on to perform as members of the Loose Ends. Mike Grimes would remain in the music business for another thirty years performing professionally with a number of artists including a stint as Robin Lee’s guitarist and road manager. Lee had a national Top-10 hit with the song “Black Velvet” during the 1990s.
The Chancellors have only reunited a couple of times in the past 47 years, and the Morrilton High School Class of 1966 is fortunate to have all five original members (plus horns) coming together for this special show & dance. The Chancellors played the MHS Junior-Senior Prom in 1966 and this reunion event will take us all back to that special time in our lives – 50 years ago.