Sunday, September 20, 2009

Three Degrees - Collage

The Three Degrees are a female Philadelphia soul and disco vocal musical group, formed in 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although always fronted by a three person line-up, there have been a number of personnel changes, and a total of twelve women have represented the group so far. The original members were Fayette Pinkney, Shirley Porter and Linda Turner. They are best known for their million selling 1974 hit song, "When Will I See You Again".

They were formed around 1963 in Philadelphia. They were discovered by producer and songwriter, Richard Barrett. Barrett was responsible for groups of the 1950s such as The Chantels, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and The ValentinesBarrett recorded the original line-up on their first song entitled, "Gee Baby (I'm Sorry)", for Swan Records. Turner and Porter both left the group and were replaced by Helen Scott and a variety of other ladies before Janet Harmon joined in the mid 1960s. Barrett also began managing and producing Sheila Ferguson who was a high school friend of Scott. Barrett also signed Ferguson to Swan Records in 1965. The Three Degrees released a number of singles such as "I'm Gonna Need You" and a cover version of "Maybe" with Scott taking the lead vocals.

By 1966, with many performances lined up, Scott decided to leave the group to start a family. Ferguson filled in for Scott and would remain in the group for 20 years. Ferguson sang backup on all the group's Swan recordings as did the Three Degrees for her solo singles. By 1967, Harmon left and was eventually replaced by Valerie Holiday. Barrett signed them to recording contracts over the next three years with Warner Bros., Metromedia, and Neptune record labels; the latter of which which was owned by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who would work with group five years later. Their close harmony singing made them a popular nightclub act but that hit record still eluded them.

By 1970, they were signed to Roulette Records and they released their first album, Maybe. The title song took them to #4 on the U.S. R&B charts. Other singles like "I Do Take You" and "You're The Fool" followed, as did their second album, So Much Love. This success landed them a cameo appearance in the 1971 film, The French Connection, filmed during one of their appearances at the Copacabana nightclub in New York.

In 1973, with their contract with Roulette ending, Barrett signed them to Philadelphia International Records under Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, where they were to have their greatest successes. They also made an appearance on the television series Sanford and Son, singing their song "I Didn't Know." The first song they recorded there was with the studio band MFSB, entitled "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" which was the theme song for Soul Train. In total, The Three Degrees recorded four albums for the Roulette label.

The first album spawned three hits. "Dirty Ol' Man" went gold in the Netherlands and Belgium. The second single was "Year Of Decision" which made it to the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart. Their third single "When Will I See You Again" was the one that broke the trio into the mainstream. It topped the UK Chart and reached no.2 in the US, earning the trio a gold record.

That is the wiki low-down; my low-down is that this song reminds my of my younger days driving around in the car with my Mom while she sang along with the And this is a real song of the times, iot couldn'y have been recorded at any other time than the late 60's or early 70's, in this case smack dab in teh middle, 1970.
A song that mixes in soul with pop and with slight psychedlic edge... Enjoy.

And before anyone gives me shit about the sound quality, this was dug at a flea market and cost me 50 cents... If you like the song go buy some mp3's or whatever and get off my back.... I'm sure some of these ladies are still alive and could use your cracker ass green backs!

Three Degrees - Collage

1 comment:

Mikel J said...

Hey Devil Dick... Been a while. This is a cool version of the Joe Walsh song done by the James Gang. Now, if you really want to hear something that will depress the shit outta ya, give that version a listen. As usual, expect the unusual at the Devils Music.... Good writin' too.