In 1961, Gene’s first major hit as a recording artist, “A Hundred Pounds of Clay,” reached #1 and remained on the charts for months. Several other recordings followed, all reaching the ‘Top Five’, including “Tower of Strength,” “Chip Chip,” and “Point of No Return.” Building on his success as a vocalist, Gene began writing songs and eventually became a music producer. He has produced for many major labels including Ode, A&M, MGM, BMG, CBS Sony, Capitol, Motown, and many independent labels. He has had numerous top ten records in the various capacities of producer, writer and artist.
In 1986, Gene received an award at BMI’s Annual Million Airs function for the creation, production and publishing of a major work, “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” originally recorded by Roberta Flack and nominated for a Grammy, a song which has now achieved over 6,000,000 performances and been recorded on 400 albums.
Gene’s composition “Compared to What,” originally released in 1968 by Les McCann and Eddie Harris, has appeared in eight major films, including Ice Storm starring Sigourney Weaver, and Casino starring Robert DiNero, and was featured in an international Coca-Cola campaign. This timeless song of up tempo social commentary was recorded and released anew by John Legend and The Roots in 2010 on their album Wake Up. Gene publishes his own and special friends’ music through Skyforest Music BMI, headquartered in NYC, a company he has owned for over 40 years.
Fifteen years ago, Gene launched a new career writing and producing film and video using a body of work personally created and developed by himself and his creative partner. Gene’s acting talents have been put to good use as well, and he is a featured actor in two short films, Devils Minion and The Giver. In 2009 he produced the score for an award-winning short film by Chase Bailey titled Crooked Lane. As a voice-over talent, Gene used his considerable skills in an award-winning MMO video game, League of Legends, created as a number of dramatic and humorous characters for the audio book The Great Improbability, and performed a central narrative character for the Coruway Film Institute’s documentary Front Wards, Back Wards.
Today, Gene continues to create the music he loves. He co-wrote and produced three highly-regarded jazz vocal albums for Carri Coltrane – Flamenco Sketches, The First Time and Child Inside My Heart. New musical albums recently produced, and/or written and performed by him include: Evolution’s Child, Screams and Whispers, Humans Being, and Psychic Sects. Gene has a brand new website www.eugenemcdaniels.com and a brand new YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/EugeneMcDaniels featuring a number of his recent live and recorded music performances and short films.
Through the years, Gene has been fortunate enough to have a unique working relationship with many of his most talented peers, including Roberta Flack, Herbie Hancock, Phyllis Hyman, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight, Cannonball Adderly, Nancy Wilson, Melba Moore, Sarah Vaughn, Merry Clayton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ron Carter, Aretha Franklin, BB King, and Les McCann, to name but a few.