Friendly, talented Otis Leavill Cobb was born February 8, 1937, in Dewey Rose, GA. The Cobb family moved to Chicago two years later and settled in the Londale area on the Westside. Leavill had four brothers and two sisters. His father pastored the First Church of Deliverance on South Wabash, one of the first to broadcast on the radio, and formed the Cobb Singers, with Otis a member. Leavill's childhood chum, Major Lance, lived in the Cabrini Green Projects near Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler. They slept over at each other houses and acted more like brothers than buddies. As teenagers the two pals participated in amateur boxing at St. Albees, Leavill always fought in a division five pounds heavier than Lance. At 5'5" Leavill was short and stocky; Lance was taller and slimmer at 5'8." They formed the Floats with two females: Barbara Tyson, and another that no one remembers. After eight months the Floats ended, they never released a record but recorded a demo that's floating around Chi-town. Always industrious, Leavill worked at a grocery store, and Lance at a drugstore in the Cabrini Green area. Leavill graduated from Crane High School, and attended Crane Junior College, and Chicago Junior College.