Monday, 8 November 2010

MY HIT LIST #36 The Three Degrees

Fayette Pinkney, Valerie Holiday and Sheila Ferguson is the best known line up of the group and this line-up was to remain intact for their glory years with Roulette and Philadelphia International.
The hits began with a remake of the Chantels 1958 hit, "Maybe" and continued through "I Do Take You", "You're The One", "There's So Much Love All Around Me" and closed out with "Trade Winds" for Roulette records. It was during this two-year span that they made a cameo appearance in the movie, "The French Connection", singing "Everybody Gets To Go To The Moon", portraying themselves in a cabaret scene.
In 1972, they aligned their recording fate with Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia International label alongside artists such as Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the O'Jays, Billy Paul and the Intruders. The hits started coming; "Dirty Ol Man","TSOP", which featured the ladies with MFSB, 'When Will I See You Again”.
During their 3 years with Philadelphia International, they enjoyed great success with "Year Of Decision", "Take Good Care Of Yourself" and, again with MFSB, "Love Is The Message".
It was during this era that they received attention due to Prince Charles publicly citing The Three Degree as his favourite group. At this point the British public took to the girls and they were frequent performers on Saturday night TV in the UK.In fact, The Three Degrees were invited guests at the wedding reception of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

For a generation of light entertainment watchers The Three Degrees were a regularly appearing source of sophisticated sex appeal in their fabulous outfits. their glamour offset the beige hued acts that also appeared on Seaside Special and the like. The Three degrees were glamour pusses in a grey world.
They moved on to Epic Records and teamed up with Giorgio Moroder and a new set of hits began. "Giving Up, Giving In", "My Simple Heart" "Woman in Love". This was something of a renaissance and gave them a new disco audience.

After some changes it was ultimately the moving on of Sheila Ferguson that ended the Three Degrees as we knew them.The Three Degrees are not held in such reverence as the Supremes and the like but they were accessible in the mainstream and brought genuine sunshine into my Saturday nights.

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having said that;