Cicero Blake was the original lead singer of the Golden Tones, who evolved into the Kool Gents, the group that sprung Dee Clark. After leaving the Golden Tones-- which consisted of Blake, James Harper, Teddy Long, Howard McClain, and John Carter -- Blake made many solo recordings for small Chicago labels (Brainstorm, Renee, Success, etc.). John McCall, Doug Brown, and Dee Clark replaced Harper, McClain, & Blake (Uncle Sam called). When he got the chance to record for a major label -- Brunswick Records in 1967--the two tracks he cut, "You Got Me Walking," and "A Woman Needs to Be Loved," were shelved for 20 years. They didn't emerged until Kent Records released The Soul of a Man. Blake's version of "Walking" also appears on Sweet Soulful Chicago released in 1987; Jackie Wilson, and the Chi-lites also recorded "Walking." Blake's singing career began in a church choir, then with the Golden Tones while still in high school, and he performed in military shows in the Air Force. After serving his country, he traveled all over the chitlin' circuit with the Sunny Thompson Revue. He recorded his first album, Don't Do This to Me for Success Records in 1962; though he never charted, many of his R&B singles, including "Sad Feelings" and "If I Had My Way," found acceptance with Northern Soul lovers. "Love Is Like a Boomerang" received more attention then previous efforts and got him some gigs as the opening act on revues for R&B luminaries' Chuck Jackson, Jerry Butler, James Brown, and Wilson Pickett. Blake continued working and recording throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s while holding down a nine-to-five working for Cook County as one of the Maywood Park Districts' commissioners. Blake appears at many blues festivals including the Chicago Blues Festival, and in a tribute to Milwaukee's blues legend Robert Taylor in July 15, 1998. His "She's Cheatin' on You" appears on Super Soul Blues, Vol. 3 on Jewel Records, and he's has had two CD releases on Valley Vue Records: Too Hip to Be Happy!, and Just One of Those Things.
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