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Constellation Records

1421 S Michigan Ave.

Shortly after Vee-Jay Records’ president Ewart Abner left that company in 1963, he set up shop at the newly formed Constellation with partners Art Sheridan and Bill “Bunky” Sheppard. Although it lasted just three years, the company had a big impact on the people involved. Soul singer Gene Chandler joined the label's roster, and after a few failed singles, in 1964 he recorded the Curtis Mayfield number “Just Be True,” which hit number 19 on the pop charts. As Chandler remembered it, Abner had bet him a steak dinner that the song would also tank—that was one bet that Abner was happy to lose. Other rhythm & blues artists on Constellation included The Sheppards, Holly Maxwell, Nolan Chance and Dee Clark. After the company folded its producer Carl Davis went on to considerable success as a vice president at Brunswick. Abner moved to Detroit, where he became an executive at Motown and managed Stevie Wonder.

– A.C. 

Caption: Image forthcoming.

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