Major Lance, `Monkey Time' Singer

DECATUR, Ga. - Major Lance, whose vocals helped shape Chicago's soul sound in the 1960s, died yesterday of heart disease at his home. He was 55.

Mr. Lance had hit singles in 1963 with "The Monkey Time," which started a dance craze, and "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" in 1964. Both songs were written by Curtis Mayfield.

Mr. Lance, a Chicago native, started out singing gospel. A former boxer, he got his break in rock after appearing on a Chicago television show, Jim Lounsbury's "Record Hop."

His first single, "I Got A Girl-Phyllis," was written and produced by Mayfield.

Mr. Lance continued to tour and perform at clubs and music festivals until his death.

Survivors include his wife, Christine Boular Lance, and nine