The Independents were a R&B vocal group in the 70s music era, originating from Chicago, Illinois. They consisted of Chuck Jackson, Maurice Jackson (not related to Chuck), Helen Curry, Eric Thomas, and Marvin Yancy. During their most productive years (1971-1975), the Independents scored eight charting singles both on the pop and black music charts, including the Top 40 hit and oldies classic favorite “Leaving Me” in 1973. After the group disbanded in 1975, Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy went on to become a successful production/songwriting duo, having collaborated with other artists such as Natalie Cole and Ronnie Dyson.
The Independents’ formation and early years
Chuck Jackson, Maurice Jackson, Helen Curry and Eric Thomas collectively known as The Independents were formed in 1971 in Chicago Illinois. The short-lived male/female vocal group gained several hits during the early 1970’s.
The Independents’ releases
Throughout The Independents’ musical career, they had released all their material for Wind Records. The group issued their debut single in 1972 called “Just as Long as You Need Me” which peaked modestly at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100 while it charted the R&B’s Top Ten at #8. It was followed by an equally modest charter “I Just Want to Be There,” hitting #113 spot.
In the winter of 1973, The Independents released the song that would become their best known recording which was called “Leaving Me.” Co-written by Maurice Barge and Jimmie Jiles, “Leaving Me” registered on the Billboard Hot 100 at #21 and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks. On the R&B chart, the song did extremely well, hitting at #1. It also became a million-selling record, earning a gold disc from the Recording Industry Association of America (R.I.A.A.). The follow-up single “Baby I’ve Been Missing You” was released and it became a hit as well. It entered both pop and R&B charts at #41 and #4 respectively. In autumn, they issued the last single for that year called “Leaving Me” (#65 US, #12 R&B).
In 1974, The Independents relesed their last three singles: “Arise and Shine,” “The First Time We Met” and Let This Be the Reason.” The last one mentioned was their final entry to the pop chart at #88.
The group members’ later careers
After the group disbanded, Jackson and Yancy were still in the music circuit, working successfully as writers and producers for Phyllis Hyman, Ronnie Dyson and Natalie Cole whose most of her early singles were done by the tandem.
The Independents’ discography (may be impartial)
- A: Just As Long As You Need Me, Part I
- B: Just As Long As You Need Me, Part II
- A: I Just Want To Be There
- B: Can’t Understand It
- A: Baby I’ve Been Missing You
- B: Couldn’t Hear Nobody Say (I Love You Like You Do)
- A: It’s All Over
- B: Sara Lee
- A: The First Time We Met
- B: The First Time We Met
- A: The First Time We Met
- B: Show Me How
- A: Arise And Shine (Let’s Get It On) [Vocal]
- B: Arise And Shine (Let’s Get It On) [Instrumental]
- A: Arise And Shine (Let’s Get It On)
- B: I Found Love On A Rainy Day
- A: Let This Be A Lesson To You
- B: No Wind, No Rain