Nolan Chance was a fixture on the music scene in Chicago for years; a singer of considerable talent who, by virtue of bad timing and business situations beyond his control, never quite got the right break at the right time to achieve some of the recognition that he might have deserved. He was born Charles Davis in Louisiana in 1939, and was raised in Chicago after his family moved there in the early '40s. In his early teens, he formed an R&B vocal group with some friends at Lyons Township High School, and they did well enough to get an opening spot on a bill with Freddie King. In 1959, he joined the vocal group the Trinidads, who left behind a recorded legacy of one unsuccessful single, "When We're Together."
Davis spent his early-'60s career as a member of the Turbo Jets, and then the Dukays. He was recruited into the latter group in 1962 as the successor to Gene Chandler, following the latter's exit in the wake of the success of the single "Duke of Earl." The group failed to hit with any of the records they cut during Davis' year-long tenure, however, and by 1963 he was gone from the Dukays and singing with the Artistics.
In 1964, Davis signed to the Constellation label, taking the name Nolan Chance. His debut for the label was "She's Gone," a ballad that attracted considerable attention and did well on numerous local charts, even though it failed to register nationally. His next record, "Just Like the Weather," was well-received but had the bad fortune to appear just as Constellation was starting to collapse.
Chance didn't record again until the end of the 1960s, when Eddie Thomas signed with the Curtom label. He cut the single "I'll Never Forget You," which became a sufficiently popular R&B hit to get Chance back into touring and performing. The fit between Chance and Curtom should have been a natural, in view of the fact that the label later became home to Gene Chandler, the man he'd replaced in the Dukays, but the relationship with the label didn't last. He was produced by Thomas -- who departed Curtom in 1970 -- during 1972 for the Scepter label, on the single "Sara Lee." As with his experience on Constellation, however, Chance's timing was bad; Scepter, which had once been a very successful New York-based R&B label, was declining rapidly, and folded soon after, and "Sara Lee" never sold what it could have.