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CHICAS, Roy Ayers mid 70s vocalist. Where is she?

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MrStep2me

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Jun 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/19/99
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I thought this girl was fantastic, but she seems to have disapeared off the
face of the earth. Roy never sticks with one female vocalist for long, but will
usually go back to ones he has used previously on different projects (Carla
Vaughn, Dee Dee Bridgewater). Yet after the 3 albums he did with her (Mystic
Voyage, Sunshine and Vibrations, he never used her again, and I havent seen
evidence of her working with anyone else either.

alberto...@gmail.com

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Oct 8, 2014, 1:20:56 PM10/8/14
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El sábado, 19 de junio de 1999 09:00:00 UTC+2, MrStep2me escribió:
Hi, same questions - many years after, I see!! Do you know about her original name? I've tried to find more info on her, but seems very hard to get her real identity, apart from a photo and a 2 lines bio...
http://www.angelfire.com/biz3/boldsoulsisters/briefs.html
thanks for your feedback!

mico...@gmail.com

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Oct 23, 2014, 11:33:59 PM10/23/14
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On Saturday, June 19, 1999 3:00:00 AM UTC-4, MrStep2me wrote:
> I thought this girl was fantastic, but she seems to have disapeared off the
> face of the earth. Roy never sticks with one female vocalist for long, but will
> usually go back to ones he has used previously on different projects (Carla
> Vaughn, Dee Dee Bridgewater). Yet after the 3 albums he did with her (Mystic
> Voyage, Sunshine and Vibrations, he never used her again, and I havent seen
> evidence of her working with anyone else either.

I listened to her tonight and have always wondered the same thing. I thought to myself many times in the past why did she not go onto to do so much more. I mean, she may not be the best vocalist he ever had, and she is definitely not a Dee Dee Bridgewater level jazz singer but she is the one that definitely stands out the most of any of his vocalist. Aside from Everybody loves the sunshine, searching and VIBRATIONS she has other excellent songs on the Everybody loves the sunshine album AND IN MY MIND SHE IS THE MOST UNIQUE SINGER HE EVER HAD... Unfortunately, her story is not a good one with no happy ending. I was following Roy quite a bit in the early 2000's through 2008 and had the pleasure of spending sometime with Roy and especially Dennis Davis. I got the answer to two of my questions and was not pleased with BOTH answers. Lets start with Rick "Remo" Lawson. To my knowledge I'm pretty sure his first professional recording was with Roy on the Mystic Voyage album and to date is one of his best recordings ever yet he never mentioned that recording once during all of his years being interviewed by Modern Drummer magazine and in his video interviews. If he did I never had the pleasure to witness that. Byron Miller the bass player on Mystic voyage spoke of playing with Ricky on Mystic Voyage but little else has been documented about this. When I asked Roy about Ricky and Chicas he seemed a little annoyed... Dennis told me that Roy was annoyed because a lot of people started with Roy and went on to become very successful but never gave Roy his props. THEN the extra sad news. Dennis told me that Chicas wanted to leave Roy before she was MAYBE ready to do a solo album and at some point around that time, or before she got to do a solo album she got stabbed and couldn't sing anymore. Apparently she lived but for some reason was unable to sing the same way or maybe her spirits were down and never pulled out of it. Regardless, I didn't ask much about her afterwards but still wonder what her solo career could of been and how nice it would of been to have more of her to listen to. Her best moment vocally is Take all the time that you need, if you don't know of that track it is on Mystic Voyage, the album before Everybody loves the sunshine. LOVE CHICAS AND CHICAS IF YOUR STILL OUT THERE AND GET A CHANCE TO READ THIS YOU ARE WONDERFUL AND MISSED!!!!!

cyn.l...@gmail.com

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May 23, 2015, 4:32:34 PM5/23/15
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On Saturday, June 19, 1999 at 3:00:00 AM UTC-4, MrStep2me wrote:
> I thought this girl was fantastic, but she seems to have disapeared off the
> face of the earth. Roy never sticks with one female vocalist for long, but will
> usually go back to ones he has used previously on different projects (Carla
> Vaughn, Dee Dee Bridgewater). Yet after the 3 albums he did with her (Mystic
> Voyage, Sunshine and Vibrations, he never used her again, and I havent seen
> evidence of her working with anyone else either.

I remember when she was with a band in Baltimore called Man's Theory. Her real first name is Debbie. I forgot her last name. Beautiful person!

marvin...@gmail.com

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Jan 10, 2016, 11:12:49 AM1/10/16
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Listening to her now on Mystic Voyage. ...she was born ready!! A lost talent

skeet...@gmail.com

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Mar 16, 2017, 1:22:39 PM3/16/17
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On Saturday, June 19, 1999 at 3:00:00 AM UTC-4, MrStep2me wrote:
> I thought this girl was fantastic, but she seems to have disapeared off the
> face of the earth. Roy never sticks with one female vocalist for long, but will
> usually go back to ones he has used previously on different projects (Carla
> Vaughn, Dee Dee Bridgewater). Yet after the 3 albums he did with her (Mystic
> Voyage, Sunshine and Vibrations, he never used her again, and I havent seen
> evidence of her working with anyone else either.


I met them years ago when they came to my town. Me and Chicas hung out. The entire band was so nice

ma...@denniskeesmaat.nl

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Jun 20, 2017, 8:57:50 AM6/20/17
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georgevj...@gmail.com

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Jul 16, 2017, 4:06:12 PM7/16/17
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Her name is Deborah Darby from Washington DC we graduated from Spingarn High class of 1968. I havent heard from her since high school. Was googling trying tp find her. Thanks for the post.

georgevj...@gmail.com

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Jul 16, 2017, 4:06:44 PM7/16/17
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georgevj...@gmail.com

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Jul 16, 2017, 4:07:49 PM7/16/17
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georgevj...@gmail.com

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Jul 16, 2017, 4:09:11 PM7/16/17
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elli...@gmail.com

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Sep 21, 2017, 8:55:46 PM9/21/17
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Wow! I feel like crying. This lady's voice was so dynamic and passionate, i was sure she was still performing in the industry under another band or group. I truly believe had she gone solo she would have really made it big. This is so sad.

eugenia...@gmail.com

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Jun 27, 2018, 11:07:12 PM6/27/18
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She is a very talented and powerful singer.I've been following and listening to Roy Ayers Ubiquity since "Everybody loves the Sunshine "in high school. Wish she would start singing again. She has a talent that is well missed.

pitts.l...@gmail.com

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Apr 22, 2019, 1:58:57 PM4/22/19
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This her daughter. She’s still around!! She resides in NC now.

cyhen...@gmail.com

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Apr 22, 2019, 11:05:14 PM4/22/19
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Omg....Pitts. I met ur mom, Dee, when I worked at Target. Pls tell her it's Charrisse and I had a young daughter at the time attending elemtary school by her house when we met in NC. I'm back in DMV now, but am considering moving back when my daughter graduates next yr. Lost contact, but was live to see her again. I'll actually be back down her way this wknd!

music...@gmail.com

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Apr 24, 2019, 9:37:53 PM4/24/19
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Hello everyone I ‘m still here!!!! No I didn’t get stabbed or out of circulation!
Just found out that everyone has been “searching “
Just took sometime out to find myself BUT never gave up singing.As a matter of
Fact I‘ve been singing for the Lord for the past several years and studying to become a Minister !!!
God has been soooooo good to me and my music Minisrty.
My contact info is music...@gmail.com
As one of the old Temptations would say I still got the pipes❤️

music...@gmail.com

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Apr 24, 2019, 9:45:53 PM4/24/19
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Hello everyone I ‘m still here! No I’m not dead nor got
Stabbed!! Living in NC, still got the pipes and singing
For the Lord (gospel) studying ministry and my music ministry is great.
My contact information: music...@gmail.com
If you like me to do a concert or just hang out!

music...@gmail.com

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Apr 24, 2019, 9:50:02 PM4/24/19
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I still here and living in NC and singing for the Lord
(Gospel) and still got the pipes 😍
My contact info: music...@gmail.com

onya...@gmail.com

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Jul 25, 2019, 10:52:17 PM7/25/19
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Wow I just stumbled on this thread because I was looking for the group of back up singers that formed a group separately from Roy Ayers. I got scared when I read you’d been stabbed. I’m glad to hear that you are doing well and still using your talents for something positive. Take care 😁

mrst...@gmail.com

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Oct 25, 2019, 1:37:28 PM10/25/19
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On Saturday, June 19, 1999 at 3:00:00 AM UTC-4, MrStep2me wrote:
> I thought this girl was fantastic, but she seems to have disapeared off the
> face of the earth. Roy never sticks with one female vocalist for long, but will
> usually go back to ones he has used previously on different projects (Carla
> Vaughn, Dee Dee Bridgewater). Yet after the 3 albums he did with her (Mystic
> Voyage, Sunshine and Vibrations, he never used her again, and I havent seen
> evidence of her working with anyone else either.

WOW! I posted this question 20 years ago, and I've finally gotten an answer. I didn't know Chicas was Debbie Darby. Debbie worked with Roy under her real name on Tear To A Smile. It's great to know that she is alive, well, and still has that voice. I don't think she realizes the buzz there was around her. Everyone I knew expected her to be the next big thing, a la Chaka Khan. This is the only video of her that seems to be out there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc7DAOH-58E If you have anything new or old, please share it with us Debbie! Your fans are out here, and there are more of us than you know.

ajazz...@gmail.com

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Nov 24, 2019, 5:19:26 PM11/24/19
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Trying to contact Debbie Darby aka Chicas for a story. I’m a reporter in NC, born and raised in Baltimore who also played Roy’s music when I was on the radio. If you’re still checking this thread, please contact me at Anthony...@abc.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

cow...@gmail.com

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May 6, 2020, 7:22:07 PM5/6/20
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Listening to Chicas on "Take All The Time You Need",blew my mind,excellent singing performance!

phi...@gmail.com

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Jul 2, 2020, 9:41:46 PM7/2/20
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On Monday, April 22, 2019 at 1:58:57 PM UTC-4, pitts....@gmail.com wrote:
> This her daughter. She’s still around!! She resides in NC now.

This is great to know! I would love to interview your mother.

Evelyn Johnson

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Oct 11, 2020, 4:09:30 PM10/11/20
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On Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 7:22:07 PM UTC-4, cow...@gmail.com wrote:
> Listening to Chicas on "Take All The Time You Need",blew my mind,excellent singing performance!
Me tooI love myself some Chicas!!!!!!!!! Did anyone attend North Carolina Central University in 1976 and went to the concert on campus at the B& Duke auditorium Roy. Ayers ubiquity and Chicas? It was amazing.

rico WEST

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Jan 18, 2022, 4:32:44 PM1/18/22
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Jack Johnson

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Apr 13, 2023, 6:52:44 PM4/13/23
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Add another 3.5 years onto that. The song "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" has always been special to me. It's a complicated piece. Has the raw authenticity you don't hear as much, but moreso: the hook's chord progression is singular, striking that alchemic "contemplative" sound. It's sad, but hopeful. It's complex, eternal. I googled "who was the accompanying singer" and couldn't find a picture. Only this thread which, upon scrolling through, didn't realize started in freaking 1999. What a miracle it's still around. What a miracle she answered. And so on in that fashion. Still never saw a picture, but at this point who cares.

Just chiming in to say it sounds like we're all doing the lord's work here.

Good luck with the continued ministry - and to everyone else: keep loving that sunshine.

Cheers from Fort Worth, TX.
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