Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Singer Bernard St. Clair Lee of Hues Corporation Has Died

Bernard St. Clair Lee, founding member of the Hues Corporation, was found dead Tuesday (March 8) in his Elsinore, California home. He was 66. No cause of death was given, but police say there are no suspicious circumstances.

Born in 1944 in San Francisco, St. Clair (as he was known) formed the group with Fleming Williams and Hubert Ann Kelley in 1969, performing as backup singers for a variety of vocalists, including Frank Sinatra and Glen Campbell. They were asked to sing three songs in the movie "Blacula," which led to an RCA recording contract. RCA, however, rejected their first choice for a name-- The Children of Howard Hughes. 

Their first single, "Freedom For The Stallion" in 1973, did moderately well, reaching #63. But the follow-up,"Rock The Boat," went to #1 the following year and spent 18 weeks on the charts. Next came "Rockin' Soul," which made #21 that year. But two more recordings failed to reach the top 60 and by 1978 they disbanded.