Joe and Chris

Former Singer of the "Natural Four"
18 September 2014

Joeleen and Chris James

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Joeleen and The LEGENDARY CHRIS JAMES, also known at the time as Ollan C Bell. Former Singer from the Famous Group, “The Natural Four” met on the 14th of July 2013.

And decided there and then that they had to work together! Strangely Fate was at Work and Joeleen just the Day before on the 13th of July 2013, wrote this Lovely Christmas Song called”GET CLOSE TO YOU”.

The Duet between Joeleen and Chris are a perfect combination of Warmth and Joy that will definitely put you into The CHRISTMAS Spirit!

The Natural Four began their quest for stardom in Oakland, CA in the mid-sixties landing their first deal with a local outfit called Boola Boola Records. Initially, they had two releases on Boola Boola in 1968: “You Did This For Me” and “I Thought You Were Mine”. These songs did very well in the S.F/Oakland area. In 1969 ABC Records took over distribution and released “Why Should We Stop Now” which went to # 31 on the R&B chart. At this time the group consisted of Chris James (founder), Allen Richardson, John January and Al Bowden

Three more releases followed on ABC “The Same Thing In Mind” and , “The Situation Needs No Explanation” and “Hurt”.  In 1970 they signed with Chess Records and released one single ” Give a little Love” that also did well in the S.F Bay Area.

Chris James overhauled the Natural Four in 1971, out were Richardson, January and Bowden: And in came Darryl Canady, Steve Striplin and Delmos Whitley. They signed with Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label and released “Things Will Be Better Tomorrow” and “Eddie You Should Know Better”  and in 1973 the third Curtom release was the charm “Can This Be Real” soared to #10 on the R&B chart and cracked the Pop Top 40 at #31 their biggest selling record ever.

Leroy Hutson, produced the Natural Four on Curtom.  Their fourth and fifth Curtom release in 1974/75 showed promise, they reached the R&B Top 20. They released two additional singles “You Can’t Keep Running Away” and “Free”.  From 1972 to 1976 the Natural Four toured the United States and appeared at major venues including the “Apollo Theater”. They also appeared on numerous major TV variety shows from Soul Train to American Bandstand.

Chris started his music career at the age of 10 he started playing the bass guitar and at the age of 12 he made his first vocal solo.  His singing background comes from the church and his mother’s teachings, who was also a professional singer.

During the 70’s Chris  performed and shared the stage with artist such as Earth Wind and Fire, The Temptations, Kool and the Gang, the Isley Brothers and his former producer Curtis Mayfield among others.  With more than 200 songs composed and distributed in various albums throughout the world, Chris has an impressive discography.  Chris has used his talents to  train and produce singers from Paris, Japan, England South America and the US.In 1987 Chris, met and started to coach and produce Zakiya Hooker who is the daughter of the late great John Lee Hooker.  Chris produced all four of Zakiya’s albums.

In 2002 Chris produced the final John Lee Hooker CD “Face to Face”.  Chris is also the President and Co-Owner of the John Lee Hooker Boom Boom Recording Studio in Douglasville, Georgia.Nowadays Chris finds himself touring around the world and spending most of his time in South America.  Chris has made his home base Buenos Aires, Argentina where he has become a well-recognized recording and performing artist. Chris demonstrates the technique, control and vocal range needed to journey into all genres of music. Chris shows that he is a true professor of vocals.



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Blame It On The Boogie // Blame It On The Boogie
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