Larry Chance, born Larry Figueiredo on October 19, 1940, was an iconic American musician celebrated for his contributions to the doo-wop genre during the 1960s. Best recognized as the lead vocalist of Larry Chance and the Earls, he left an indelible mark on the music industry.
Hailing from The Bronx, New York, Larry was later raised in the bustling city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It wasn’t long before he felt the allure of his hometown, eventually moving back to New York.
Rise to Stardom
Larry’s journey into the music world initially began with a group named The High Hatters. Over time, the group evolved, not only in name but also in reputation. Renamed The Earls, Figueiredo also underwent a transformation, adopting the last name ‘Chance’, a nod to their record label.
The year 1962 was pivotal for Larry Chance and the Earls. Their single, “Remember Then”, burst onto the scene, becoming a nationwide sensation. Following this, several of their tracks garnered attention, notably “Never” and “Life Is But a Dream”, both of which enjoyed top positions on the New York charts. Their song “I Believe” is fondly remembered as an East Coast classic. The group’s discography was rich, including hits like “Looking For My Baby” and “Kissing” and albums such as “Remember Me Baby”, “The Earls: Today”, “The Earls – LIVE”, “Earl Change”, and “Streets of the Bronx”.
Solo Endeavors and Revival
Venturing out in the late 1960s, Chance briefly explored a solo career. However, as the tides of the oldies revival scene swelled in the 1970s and 1980s, The Earls found themselves back in demand. Their unique sound and Chance’s unmistakable voice made them one of the most sought-after groups in the doo-wop genre. Embracing this resurgence, Chance rejoined and they continued to be a cherished act in the oldies circuit.
Personal Battles and Legacy
In 2000, a challenging phase arrived in Chance’s life when he was diagnosed with cancer. With resilience and the aid of chemotherapy, he emerged successfully from this battle. His passion for music remained undiminished, evident when he graced the stage for the 2001 DOO WOP special in Pittsburgh. During this performance, he candidly shared his journey battling cancer before serenading his fans with “I Believe”.
Sadly, the world bid farewell to Larry Chance on September 6, 2023. His legacy, however, lives on through the melodies and memories he left behind.