Duke of Earl spreads holiday cheer

CHICAGO Chandler is one of those guys who likes to give back to the community. The 68-year-old native South Sider hit it big in show biz more 45 years ago. Now, he's helping out those in need.

At Dearborn Homes near 29th and Federal the Christmas trees were free for those who couldn't afford them thanks to Gene Chandler and his organization, Project Happiness. Chandler and the masons of North Star Lodge Number 1 sponsored the event.

"Well, each year we give out Christmas trees to public housing ... turkeys and toys and clothing. And it's what we've been doing for the last seven years," said Chandler.

Chandler is the Duke of Earl. He wrote and recorded "Duke of Earl" in 1961. Being the ultimate showman, Chandler turned the mega million seller into a top hat and tails career. It was a song that just popped into his head during a record session.

"We began to clown around and the guys were saying dooo ... and I said, say duke rather than dooo and I just began to put lyrics to it," said Chandler.

There was a guy in the band named Earl. And, that was it. The Duke of Earl was born --and still lives on today.

"It allowed me to be in a position where I can help other people who are in need," said Chandler.

The Duke of Earl sings on and gives back to his old south side.

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