From Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Five Chances were one of the city’s most successful vocal ensembles during the early 50s to sing in the mournful and bluesy ‘deep’ R&B style. The group started under the name Travelers during the dawn of the R&B group era in 1950. In 1954 the group joined the Chance label, and were renamed the Five Chances. The members on their only Chance record, ‘I May Be Small’, were Darnell Austell (lead), John Austell, Harold Jones, Howard Pitman and Reggie Smith. By the time the group was on Al Benson’s Blue Lake label, recording their best-known single, ‘All I Want’, the members were Darnell Austell (lead), Johnny Jones, Harold Jones, Smith and Pitman. In 1956 the group moved to the States label and had notable success with the Johnny Jones-led ‘Gloria’. Several more singles followed before the group broke up in 1960. Johnny Jones went on to form the Blenders. Pitman became a record producer, and was responsible for the Ideals’ ‘The Gorilla’ (1963).
The Five Chances Biography