Harold "Happy" Chichester is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, living in Columbus, Ohio.
Royal Crescent Mob:
Happy's first band of note was the 1980s rock/funk group the Royal Crescent Mob in which he played bass. Formed in 1985, the Royal Crescent Mob were renowned for their live act and signed a major label deal with Sire Records. Touring with The Replacements, The B-52's and others, the RC Mob released six albums and was even featured in Seventeen magazine. After nine years with the band, Happy left to pursue a solo career. Happy was replaced by Ben Pridgeon, and the RC Mob continued touring, disbanding a few years later. They all remain friends and keep in touch.
The Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers:
Having been friends with Greg Dulli since the days when The Afghan Whigs used to open for the Royal Crescent Mob, Happy has often lent his talents to Greg Dulli's projects The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers. Happy provided vocals, songwriting and various instruments to Afghan Whigs releases Gentlemen (1993) and Black Love (1996) and he was also a founding member of The Twilight Singers. He appears heavily on their first album, Twilight As Played By The Twilight Singers (2000). Happy toured as a keyboardist with both the Afghan Whigs and the Twilight Singers as well. On Greg Dulli's 2005 solo album Amber Headlights, Happy provided drums to the song "So Tight."
Howlin' Maggie Version 1.0
Happy met bassist Jim Rico at Ohio University in Athens, with whom he started Howlin' Maggie in January, 1994. An early version of the band played its first show in Covington, KY on February 3 the same year. During the following months, guitarist Andy Harrison and drummer Jerome Dillon were added to the line up, and in 1995 the band signed a recording deal with Columbia Records, releasing the critically acclaimed, Honeysuckle Strange, on April 9, 1996. The band toured extensively with the Afghan Whigs, but by the late '90s, the original line up was dissolved.
Howlin' Maggie Version 2.0
Chichester bought himself out of his record deal with Columbia Records and he and his wife founded PopFly Records. In 2001, the label released its first CD, Howlin' Maggie's Hyde for which Happy recruited the talents of guitarist Lance Ellison, (former Royal Crescent Mob drummer) Carlton Smith, and bassist Christian Hurd. After two US tours in support of the album, Happy decided to take a solo approach and disbanded Howlin' Maggie for good. They played their last shows in the summer of 2002. Howlin' Maggie reunited for a one-off show in Columbus, Ohio on November 24, 2010, along with Columbus bands Earwig, X-Rated Cowboys, Willie Phoenix Band, Watershed, and The Toll. Proceeds for the show went to benefit CD101 for the Kids charities and the memorial fund established after the passing of legendary CD101 DJ Andy "Andyman" Davis.
After Howlin' Maggie, Happy continued to write songs and play live. In 2002 Shawn Smith invited Happy to support his band Brad on their national tour and open all the shows. The experience was inspiring, and Happy began to periodically hit the road to see how audiences reacted to his new songs, while spending his days off the road in his studio to record his first solo album. Meanwhile, a performance at Portland's Aladdin Theater on March 28, 2003 (which was recorded for the price of a pint of beer) became an underground hit. He had recorded and produced a limited, numbered pressing of the show in Portland, copies of which were eventually selling on eBay for $50.00. Eventually, the live album was officially released through PopFly Music.
Lovers Come Back, Happy's first full length studio solo album, was released by his label on February 14, 2007. In support of the album, he headed out on an extensive tour of the United States and Europe (while opening for RJD2) to promote the album. He continues to tour and record as a solo artist. While on tour with RJD2) if Happy is the opening act, Happy, Derek Dicenzo and Sam Brown back RJD2.