Rehoboth Beach resident Lois Powell, an original member of the The Chantels, is featured in the upcoming book “But Will You Love Me Tomorrow? An Oral History of the ’60s Girl Groups.”
The book takes readers behind the scenes of the rise and height of 1960s girl groups, and describes the forces that led to their collapse, said a press release from publisher Hachette Books.
“Some of the women of the many girl groups featured in this book went on to achieve stardom in their own right. Some had successful careers behind the scenes in the music industry. Most returned to quiet lives beyond the public eye – some empowered, some broken,” said the release. “But all have amazing stories to tell about their experiences and insight to share about this momentous period in the history of the music industry and of our country.”
The Chantels formed in the Bronx, N.Y., and are known for hit songs “Maybe” and “I Love You So.” They are largely acknowledged as the first African American girl group to become a national success, setting the standards for style and sounds of the girl groups that came later, said the press release.
Powell, who moved to the area in 2008, received a copy of the book a couple of weeks prior to the publishing date. She said it’s exciting to see all the interviews put together.
“It looks like I don’t know what a run-on sentence is,” said Powell, laughing during an interview Aug. 28. “But I understand, it’s a stream of consciousness that was being recorded, and this is what I said.”
Following her time with The Chantels, Powell continued her education, earning a master’s degree from Columbia University on her way to becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
“Each of our parents emphasized education,” said Powell, who spent 29 years at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Harrison, N.Y.
The Chantels still perform occasionally, but Powell said they went decades without being recognized in any real way. However, she continued, that changed when were inducted into the United in Group Harmony Association’s Hall of Fame in the mid-1990s, which triggered a wave of renewed interest. There was so much press and everybody wanted the group to get back out on the road, Powell said.
There have been times when Powell has been surprised at how young the fans are at their shows. Oftentimes, their grandparents listen to The Chantels and then they’ll be singing the songs.
“It just amazes me,” said Powell.
This isn’t the first book to feature Powell and her fellow Chantels, but she said it features a lot more of the personal angles.
“It’s important, because people forget,” said Powell.
“But Will You Love Me Tomorrow? An Oral History of the ’60s Girl Groups” was written by Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz. The book, $31 for the 448-page hardcover, is available for preorder now at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Hachettebookgroup.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com and other major retailers. The book is set to be published Monday, Sept. 5.