Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows Biography

Big Twist (Larry Nolan, 23 September 1937, Terra Haute, Indiana, USA, d. 14 March 1990, Broadview, Illinois, USA) was the lead singer and leader of this R&B big band. He began singing in church in southern Illinois when he was six years old, and in the 50s was drummer and vocalist with the Mellow Fellows, an R&B group. In the early 70s he teamed with guitarist Pete Special and tenor saxophonist Terry Ogolini, and the group had albums released by Flying Fish Records and Alligator Records. Their work revealed an approach and breadth of repertoire (including blues, R&B and soul) that was ahead of its time. Big Twist died of a heart attack in March 1990, but the group continued, fronted by singer Martin Allbritton from Carbondale, Illinois, and with saxophonist/producer Gene Barge making guest vocal appearances. When founding member Special left the line-up the band changed its name to the Chicago Rhythm And Blues Kings. It continues to draw the crowds on the Chicago circuit.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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