Sandra Rhodes Biography

Singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Sandra Rhodes made a name for herself as an artist who could walk the fine line between country and Southern soul. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Sandra Rhodes was born into a musical family; her father was "Dusty" Rhodes, who performed with his siblings in the group "Slim" Rhodes & His Mountaineers, who were a popular attraction in Tennessee, recorded for Sun Records, and starred in their own long-running local TV show, The Rhodes Show, that aired from 1948 to 1975. Sandra Rhodes made her recording debut as half of the Rhodes Sisters, a duo she formed with her sister Donna Rhodes; they cut a few singles for the Penthouse, Dot, and Dial labels in 1964 and 1965, and recorded for RCA as the Lonesome Rhodes from 1967 to 1968, including a 1968 album called Sandy & Donna. In time, Sandra would marry Charlie Chalmers, a multi-instrumentalist who had recorded for Chess, and the couple would team up with Donna, recording as Rhodes, Chalmers & Rhodes, or sometimes simply as RCR. RCR cut a few singles for Radio Records in the '70s and a full-length album for Warner Bros. Records in 1980, but their greatest success was as a backing group, providing vocals and instrumentals for both R&B and country artists on the Memphis studio circuit. All three continued to work individually, and Sandra fared well as a backing vocalist and songwriter, singing on sessions with the likes of Millie Jackson, Melissa Manchester, and Al Green, while her songs were recorded by Skeeter Davis, Isaac Hayes, Conway Twitty, and the Staple Singers, among others. In 1972, Sandra scored a solo deal with Fantasy Records, and released her first solo album, Where's Your Love Been, which she co-produced with her husband. The album was an ambitious mix of soul, country, and rock, but it didn't do well in the marketplace and it would prove to be Sandra's only full-length solo effort. However, Sandra, Donna, and Charlie continued to work together as studio musicians and backing artists on tour, even after Sandra and Charlie divorced. In 2013, Sandra and Donna joined the cast of a revived edition of The Rhodes Show, and in 2014, Omnivore Records issued Where's Your Love Been on CD for the first time; the CD version featured seven previously unreleased bonus tracks from the original album sessions. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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