Curtis Blandon

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Best known for his brilliant Northern soul perennial "In the Long Run," singer and songwriter Curtis Blandon was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. The product of a musical family -- his older brother…
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Best known for his brilliant Northern soul perennial "In the Long Run," singer and songwriter Curtis Blandon was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. The product of a musical family -- his older brother Richard was a member of doo wop hitmakers the Dubs -- Blandon also attended high school alongside future Motown performers Eddie Kendricks and Shorty Long. He left Birmingham in 1960, briefly settling in Chicago before moving on to New York City, where Richard introduced him to producer and publisher Teddy Powell. Beginning with the Fabulons' "This Is the End," Blandon sold a number of his songs to Powell before replacing Joe Duncan in the doo wop quartet the Vocaleers; he then wrote "Cootie Snap," his debut effort with the group, but became so frustrated by Atlantic Records' lack of promotional push that he left the Vocaleers soon after. After recording the 1963 solo singles "Soul" and "Mr. Imagination," the following July Blandon was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving a two-year tour in Germany; upon returning to New York, he recorded the single "I Need You" for Capitol's Tower subsidiary. A subsequent deal with Buddah Records went nowhere, and Blandon briefly joined a reconstituted Dubs lineup on tour, appearing on their LP The Dubs Meet the Shells; finally, in 1972 he signed to Wand, traveling to Chicago for the Gene Chandler-produced sessions that would yield "In the Long Run." A buoyant, up-tempo soul tune notable for its regal brass arrangement and Blandon's searing vocals, the single was a favorite of legendary R&B DJ Frankie Crocker and enjoyed significant regional success, but failed to take off nationally. A disheartened Blandon at that point turned almost exclusively to songwriting, authoring a series of disco anthems. Most notably, he wrote three songs -- "Let's Make a Deal," "Do It Right," and "Let's Make Love" -- included on the 1976 Gloria Gaynor album I've Got You. "In the Long Run" is today deservedly included on a number of different Northern soul compilations.