The Lost Generation – “The Sly, Slick and Wicked”


Introducing the Lost Generation

The Lost Generation was an R&B/soul vocal group hailing from Chicago, Illinois. Some of the members were singers in their respective groups before they began, as Lost Generation, their act together in 1969. After Jesse Dean completed his stint in the US Army, he joined the other prior members Lowrell Simon, Fred Simon, and Larry Brownlee. Brunswick Records’ head of promotions Gus Redmond (who was also Lowrell’s childhood pal) led the group into recording with producer Carl Davis.

Their “The Sly, Slick and Wicked” went to the Billboard Top 40 in 1970. The Lost Generation released other singles before disabanding in 1974, with many of the members going to perform in other groups and Lowrell Simon launching a solo career with success. Larry Brownlee passed away in 1978.

The Lost Generation’s early formation, and contract with Brunswick Records

The Lost Generation was a soul group formed in Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1969. The members consist of singer-songwriter Lowell Simon (born March 18, 1943), Fred Simon, Jesse Dean, and Larry Brownlee.

Before The Lost Generation, several members had also been singers with different groups. Brownlee was once a member of The C.O.D’s (whose single “Michael (The Lover)” was a top 10 R&B hit in 1965. While Lowrell sang for a short-lived vocal group Vondells whose single “Lenore” was a local hit in Chicago.

Following Dean’s discharge from the United States Army in 1969, the Lost Generation was formed. Lowrell Simon’s childhood friend Gus Redmond was, at that time, head of promotions and marketing at Brunswick Records. It was also Redmond who introduced the Lost Generation to record producer Carl Davis.

“The Sly, Slick and Wicked” – a chart and commercial triumph

Out of these sessions with producer Davis, the Lost Generation’s first single was “The Sly, Slick and Wicked” which also came that year. It was jointly written by Lowrell Simon, Brownlee and Redmond. This was the group’s most successful hit, pacing the Billboard Top 40 pop chart at #30, and the R&B singles chart at #14 in 1970. The single’s B-side was “You’re So Young But You’re So True” (written by Lowrell Simon and Larry Brownlee).

“The Sly, Slick and Wicked” became also the group’s biggest-selling single. In fact, it generated enough money, enabling Brunswick to buy itself out from its parent label, Decca Records.

The group’s other singles, and eventual disbandment

The Lost Generation scored a few subsequent charting singles, including 1970’s “Wait a Minute” which went to #25 on the R&B singles chart; it was written by Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites. Other singles all charted the R&B singles rankings: “Talking the Teenage Language,” “Someday,” and “Your Mission (If You Decide to Accept It).” The group disbanded in 1974 soon after “Your Mission” hit the charts.

Individual members’ lives and careers after the band

Following Lost Generation’s disbandment Larry Brownlee and Fred Simon joined another act called Mystique, along with ex-Impressions crooner Ralph Johnson. On the other hand, Lowrell Simon launched a successful career as a solo artist. He dropped his last name and signed to AVI Records, which was owned by no less than the famed pianist Liberace. His album released on that label, Lowrell, generated a Top 40 US R&B and UK hit “Mellow Mellow Right On” (b/w “You’re Playing Dirty”) in 1979. Brownlee died in Chicago, in 1978. Fred Simon is one of the current members of the Chi-Lites.

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