Tuesday, 18 June 2024

‘Time Has Come’ follows family and career of Lester Chambers

“Time Has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie,” with cover art by Bob Minkin Photography.


Lester Chambers, lead singer of the Chambers Brothers of 1960s yore and lately of the group, Moonalice, has released his memoirs.

The Chambers Brothers' anthem of Psychedelia, “Time Has Come Today,” ushered the flower children into The Summer of Love in 1967.

The book is titled, “Time Has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie,” and is co-authored by local writer Thurman Watts.

The release was announced at the recent KPFZ Moonalice benefit concert, where the 82-year-old Chambers exhibited the masterful vocal and harmonica chops that are solely his.

The foreword of “Time Has Come” is written by Robert Darden, professor of journalism and new media at Baylor University.

He is also the former gospel music editor of Billboard Magazine and makes several spot-on observations about the Chambers Brothers, including, they were too rock for folk, too secular for gospel, and too raw, real and passionate for rock.

The book traces the origins of the Chambers family back to 1830 but focuses on the mid-20th century when their family escaped from the farm that they sharecropped on that was owned by a leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Landing in California, the Chambers Brothers eventually signed a recording contract with a major label, only to discover that they were still sharecropping — for the label.

Through Lester Chambers’ lens, this story details the mercurial rise of the Chambers Brothers and the decision by Lester Chambers to go it alone.

Glimpses of larger-than-culture figures like Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Reed, Miles Davis, Betty Davis, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Augustus Owsley Stanley II, Bob Dylan, Mahalia Jackson, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and a host of others spring from the pages that span Lester Chambers’ career.

Revisit the hardships of recurring illnesses, the 2013 festival where he was attacked on stage, recovering, returning to the stage and working into his 80s, and the accolades commensurate with the release of the 2022 Grammy-winning documentary, “Summer of Soul,” in which the Chambers Brothers opened and closed the film.

“Time has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie” is available in paperback and Kindle eBook format. An audiobook will follow in 2003. It is also available at www.lesterchambers.com.

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