1971 Chairmen of the Board – Pay To The Piper
General Johnson was singing in his church choir at the age of six. When he was age twelve, he recorded songs with a group named the Humdingers. The group evolved over the next decade and changed their name to the Showmen.
In 1961, the group released It Will Stand with General singing lead. The record reached #61 on the Hot 100 when it was first released.
They reissued the record in 1965, and the single reached #80. They also recorded 39-21-46 Shape. The songs both hung around long enough to become core records for the Carolina Beach Music genre.
General left the group to pursue a solo career, but failed to make much progress. The Motown record producers Holland, Dozier, and Holland left Motown in 1967 to form their own record label. They encouraged General to form a group with three other singers, and the result was The Chairmen of the Board. General once again was the lead singer.
Their single Give Me Just A Little More Time sold a million copies and reached #3 on the Hot 100 in 1970. Two more singles each reached #38 that year and got inside the top twenty on the R&B charts.
Their final top forty record came when Pay To The Piper reached #13 on the Hot 100 in 1971. General co-wrote and sang lead on that single.
A few more singles reached the top forty of the R&B chart. By 1976, the group had broken up, and General was again chasing a solo career. He reformed the Chairmen of the Board in 1978 with original member Danny Woods and a slowly rotating group of other members. They formed Surfside Records and recorded and performed music aimed at the Carolina Beach Music market.
General died from lung cancer in 2010, and Danny died in 2018. New members have joined the group to keep it active.
This article is now included in Lost or Forgotten Oldies Volume 3 https://www.amazon.com/Rembert-N-Parker/e/B071Z4GXNT/