To Our Generations of Fans and Friends in the Music Industry:

A Special Message from The Dells

In Remembrance of Johnny Carter

(June 2, 1934 - August 21, 2009)


During his lifetime, Johnny earned unparalleled distinction as the lead tenor of The Dells.  His contributions to music secured him two inductions in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, an induction in the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame, numerous other awards, and countless commendations.   His thunderous tenor and multi-octave range earned him many names.  In Jamaica, he is known as the “bird man,” because he could hit notes as high as the tallest tree.   To The Dells and members of the band, he was “Old San Juan” and “Little Big Man,” who often sang soulful melodies about opossums in the gum tree and raccoons on the ground. 

To the music industry, he was the happiest cat around – infectiously good humored.  His radiant smile and impish wink will remain etched indelibly in our minds and hearts. Mostly, Johnny Carter lived fully and applied his God-given talent aptly up to the last day of his life. But his most extraordinary characteristic is the role he assumed as a “Man” – father, brother and best friend.  Although he no longer can stand with us, the memory and essence of Johnny Carter will remain eternally in the hearts of all of The Dells, the band, his family and fans worldwide.   His contributions as one of the greatest tenors in the history of music are permanently archived and will impact the world of music forever. 

While most remember him for his incredible voice, to us, Johnny can never be properly memorialized.   Our wish is that Johnny Carter’s life and legacy continue to inspire each of us as we move forward knowing that THE DELLS ALWAYS . . . YES . . . ALWAYS WILL BE TOGETHER.


Signed in Loving Memory,


Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, Marvin Junior, and Michael “Mickey” McGill


Media Room: Pictures of Johnny Carter




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The Dells: A Legacy Commemorative Book
New! The Dells have released a commemorative photo book to celebrate their music, performances, awards, memories, and friendships over a 55-year career in the entertainment industry. The book features photos with musical legends such as Dinah Washington, Mary Wilson and Jackie Wilson. It also shares behind-the-scenes photos with well-known faces such as Jesse Jackson, Billie Jean King, Mike Love (Beach Boys), P.Diddy, Anita Baker, Robert Townsend, and many more.

Shipping and handling fees are included in the price. Shipping takes approximately 2 weeks. For a sneak peek at the book, click here.


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