Born in Newport News, VA, and raised in Washington, DC, Joe Blunt began his professional singing career, at the age of 18, when he signed his first recording contract with DC’s Cap City Records as a member of R&B vocal group, “The Chancelors” (which also included Glenn Leonard). Joe was the lead singer on the group’s debut single, ”Sad Avenue.” Although the group eventually disbanded, Blunt and Leonard continued their quest for stardom with the formation of a popular local group called the “Instant Groove” and later launched yet another group, “True Reflection,” whose 1973 debut album on Atlantic Records, “Where I’m Coming From,” has become something of a collector’s item among soul music fans all over the world. The album utilized many of the musicians and arrangers who popularized “The Sound of Philadelphia,” which greatly influenced the Soul/R&B music of that era. True Reflection toured with many of the popular acts of that time – Al Green, The Ojays, The Isley Brothers, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes and The Dramatics to name a few, and also performed on the popular TV show, “Soul Train.” The group, however, may be best remembered as the group that eventually produced one member of The Temptations, one member of The Platters, and in 1975, Joe Blunt became a member of the legendary Drifters.
During his years with The Drifters, Blunt was privileged to perform alongside two inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and perhaps the most prolific lead singers in The Drifters’ storied past — the legendary Ben E. King and the late great Johnny Moore. Blunt was also featured as lead singer on some of The Drifters album tracks released during that period.
After several years of TV appearances, recording sessions, and major concert tours around the world, Blunt retired from The Drifters and returned to his musical roots as a gospel music performer. He also began to pursue a passion for the dramatic arts as an actor in various theatrical productions, in and around the Washington DC / Metropolitan area. In 2009, Joe Blunt was the recipient of a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from Sony Music for services to the music industry as a member of The Drifters on the Bell/Arista Record labels. The award was presented at a historic concert at London’s O2 Arena featuring past and current members of the Drifters.
In January 2012, Blunt was also awarded a Gold Disk by Sony Music for his musical contributions to the compilation CD, “The Drifters: The Very Best Of,” which was certified Gold in the UK.The award was presented at a special concert featuring the Drifters Legends (consisting of Blunt and other former Drifters) at the O2 Arena in London, England.