Renaldo Domino

Named for a voice that was sweet like Domino sugar, Renaldo Domino is one of the unsung heroes of Chicago soul. Born Renaldo Jones in "The Valley," around 49th & Forrestville, Domino was already on the star track by the time he got his drivers license. He linked up with the Magnificent's, and manager William "Sandy" Johnson, who would stay with him throughout his career, and had his first record deal before his high school graduation. Domino's singles on the Mercury imprints Blue Rock and Smash did fine, but by major label standards he was a flop and was promptly dropped. Clearly representing paramount talent, Sandy had little trouble convincing Wright and Bedno to sign Domino and put the full weight of their influence behind him. Though the label credits Sandy as producer, Richard Pegue was hired on to infuse Domino's street corner style with an uptown sensibility. He brought the South Shore Commission and members of the Cheers and the Voices for the sessions that would become the double-sided masterpiece "Not Too Cool to Cry" b/w "Nevermore." Domino's vocals certainly live up to the promise of his stage name, but it's Pegue's left-of-center production, complete with pizzicatto violin, triangle, castanets and mini choir that make these songs arguably one of the most beautiful soul singles to come out of Chicago.

Renaldo Domino Appears on: