RIP: James Phelps, soul singer

RIP: James Phelps, soul singer

From Rolling Stone:

Soul singer James Phelps, who performed alongside Sam Cooke and had a hit on Chess in 1965 with “Love Is A Five Letter Word,” died in Los Angeles on October 26th from complications stemming from diabetes. He was 78. Born in Shreveport Louisiana, Phelps moved to Chicago around 1960 and performed in gospel groups like the Holy Wonders, the Clefs of Calvary and, most notably, the Soul Stirrers, who catapulted Sam Cooke to fame a few years earlier. Phelps sang on their 1964 classic “Lead Me to the Calvary. “That’s actually Sam Cooke and I in the background,” Phelps told the web site Soul Cellar in 2002. “Sam is singing the top voice and I’m next to him and then Sonny Mitchell.”