|Tags:||new orleans funk rhythm and blues early rocknroll under 2000 listeners|
Leo Edward Donald, 1929, Columbus, Ohio, USA, d. 3 July 1983, Columbus, Ohio, USA. Darnell began singing in Columbus gospel choirs and started sneaking into local clubs in the early 40s to sing for cash. At the age of 15 he joined the travelling show Irwin C. Millers Brownskin Models, which he left in New Orleans after being offered a residency at the famous Dew Drop Inn. Something of a heart-throb, he became known as Mr Heart & Soul and secured a recording contract with Regal in 1949, with whom he enjoyed big hits with For You My Love and the two-part Ill Get Along Somehow, backed by Paul Gaytens band. Moving to New York in 1950, Darnells later tracks for Regal, OKeh, Savoy and DeLuxe failed to live up to the early successes. Having made occasional recordings in the 60s for Warwick, Argo and Instant, he retired from popular music in 1969, although he continued to sing for the church and contribute to...