♫ Duke Of Earl ♫

This song came out in 1962, and I remember well loving this song, trying to emulate the singer’s deep voice (me, an 11-year-old girl), and thinking I was the coolest thing on the planet!  Nerdy little kid with leg braces and coke-bottle-thick glasses!  Ahhhh youth!

According to SongFacts …

Duke Of Earl was borne out of a vocal exercise. To warm up their pipes, the Chicago vocal group The Dukays would sing “ah ah ah” and “du du du” in shifting pitch. At one rehearsal, their “du du du”s sounded really good together, so they decided to develop it into a song. They needed their hook to form a real word, so “du” became “Duke.” The baritone singer in the group was Earl Edwards, so “Duke” became Duke Of Earl.

Eugene Dixon, their lead vocalist, put together some lyrics so sing while the rest of the group harmonized. The verses find him telling a girl that nothing can stop him, and she’ll be safe as long as she has the Duke Of Earl by her side. Someday, she’ll be his duchess and they’ll walk through his dukedom paradise.

The group got a deal with Nat Records and recorded the song in 1961 along with five other songs.

Nat Records had no interest in Duke Of Earl, so they sold the song to a bigger Chicago label, Vee Jay Records, which was very excited about it. They couldn’t release it as The Dukays because Nat owned the name, so they made a deal with the group’s lead singer, Eugene Dixon, signing him as a solo artist and releasing Duke Of Earl under his new stage name: Gene Chandler (from the actor Jeff Chandler).

Leaving The Dukays was a risk – the group had a chart hit and was on the rise – but Chandler made the right move. Duke Of Earl went to #1 in February 1962 and became one of the most famous doo-wop songs of all time. That same month, the next Dukays single, Nite Owl, peaked at #73. It was the last chart appearance for the group.

Chandler played up the image he created in this song by dressing in royal garb and releasing some singles as The Duke Of Earl, but this was his best-known work, and it was a 2002 inductee into the Grammy Hall of Fame, as well as being selected by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Duke of Earl
Gene Chandler

Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl

Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl

As I walk through this world
Nothing can stop the Duke of Earl
And-a you, you are my girl
And no one can hurt you, oh no

Yes-a, I, oh I’m gonna love you, oh oh
Come on let me hold you darlin’
‘Cause I’m the Duke of Earl
So hey yea yea yeah

And when I hold you
You’ll be my Duchess, Duchess of Earl
We’ll walk through my dukedom
And a paradise we will share

Yes-a, I, oh I’m gonna love you, oh oh
Nothing can stop me now
‘Cause I’m the Duke of Earl
So hey yeah yeah yeah

Well, I, oh I’m gonna love you, oh oh
Nothing can stop me now
‘Cause I’m the Duke of Earl
So hey yeah yeah yeah

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Eugene Dixon / Earl Edwards / Bernice Williams
Duke of Earl lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Royalty Network

24 thoughts on “♫ Duke Of Earl ♫

  1. The harmonies are just fantastic in this song, doo-wop genre is upbeat and so much fun to listen to. Transports me back to an innocent time, I would consider the 60s to be the best time in our cultural history. ❤


  2. I absolutely hated this song, and still do. It was out about the same time as The Twist. I threw my transistor radio in the garbage. (Of course, I grabbed it back, cause I couldn’t afford another, but I did throw the batteries away till school was over.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was quite different over here.All the kids and fully half the adults were doing the deep voice, or so they thought. Lots of groups sprouted up but the newest craze soon took over. This was the 60’s after all.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I always thought this song had a degree of fantasy about it. What is very surreal is walking the mean streets of Detroit back in 61 and hearing this song on someone’s radio. This dukedom is a slum but who’s gonna tell the dreamer that?

    Liked by 3 people

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