b. Leroy 'Chris' Bartley, 17th April 1947, Harlem, New York, U.S.A. d. 26th October 2009, Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Chris Bartley was an R&B singer born in Harlem.
In 1959, Chris formed his own group called The Soulful Inspirations, whilst attending the Frederick Douglass Junior High in Harlem.
The group comprised of: William Graham, Henry Powell, Sam Nesbitt, and Ronald Marshall.
The Soulful Inspirations performed under several names, including the Mindbenders.
In the latter part of the Sixties, Chris and Ronald Marshall auditioned as a duo with Van McCoy.
Van McCoy signed only Chris as a solo artist with the Cameo-Parkway Records subsidiary Vando Records.
'The Sweetest Thing This Side of Heaven’ b/w ‘Love My Baby’ - 1967 / ‘Baby I'm Yours’ b/w ‘I'll Take The Blame’ - 1969
In 1967, Chris recorded a Van McCoy song called ‘The Sweetest Thing This Side of Heaven’ b/w ‘Love My Baby’, which became a hit, reaching number 10 on the U.S. R&B Singles chart and number 32 on the Billboard pop charts.
the sweetest thing this side of heaven - 1967
The single was followed by an album of the same name.
The success of the single led to tours in the States and England.
When Vando Records closed, Chris switched labels to Buddah Records.
At Buddah, he released a cover of the Barbara Lewis song ‘Baby I'm Yours’ b/w ‘I'll Take The Blame’.
Chris left the music industry in the early 1970s, due to poor health.
He later joined the ranks of the groups, the Ray Alexander Technique (in 1974) The Ad-Libs (in 1975).
The Eighties incarnation of the Ad Libs featured, David Watt, Chris Bartley, Ray Block, Abby Grant and Mary Ann Thomas.
Chris Bartley died of kidney failure in 2009 at the age of 62 in New Jersey.
The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven (Vando Records 1967)