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3 Degrees of Joy

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

The Three Degrees

Are an American female vocal group, which were originally formed in Circa 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile 15 women have been members over the years, the group has always been a trio.

The Original members that setup the group were Fayette Pinkney, Shirley Porter and Linda Turner. While Porter and Turner were replaced by Janet Harmon and Helen Scott. The line-up from 1967 to 1976 was Pinkney, Valerie Holiday and Sheila Ferguson, who would go on to sing lead on most of the group’s biggest hits. The group were particularly successful in the UK, achieving 13 Top 50 hit singles between 1974 and 1985. When you hear the name, The Three Degrees, you immediately think of their most famous song, "When Will I See You Again", and the vision of three beautiful ebony women, perfectly coordinated in both dance routines and their vocal harmonies. Their most famous song, "When Will I See You Again" was a major hit record throughout the world, topping the chart in the U.S.A., the U.K., Japan and most European countries. More than two decades on the threesome have retained all three of their major qualities- their beauty, their sparkling choreography and their precise vocal qualities.

The Three Degrees ( image:

The actual beginning of the group dates back more than 4 decades, when their then manager, the enigmatic Richard Barrett brought three young teenagers in Philadelphia. After a couple of years of constant rehearsing and local record hops, the group made its first mark on the recording scene by way of the Philly-based Swan Records. But they were tough days for the teenagers! Finally the Three Degrees can still make the claim as being the longest running female vocal group in history…. Confirmation can be seen from Guinness Book of Records.

The Three degrees ( image:

Other Tit Bits about The Three Degrees

1. They signed to Roulette records in 1970 where they recorded two albums, the success of their second album gave them a cameo appearance in the 1971 Film French Connection

2. In 1973 their contract with Roulette records ended and they joined Philadelphia Records where they had their greatest hits they recorded TSOP i.e the sound of Philadelphia with the band MFSB which is the theme song for Soul Train they also appeared in the comedy series Sanford & Sons

3. In 1976 a group member Fayette Pinkney was dating Lou Rawls, and when the manager of the group found out he was not happy about it and asked Pinkney to choose between dating Lou or the Band she chose Lou and was promptly replaced by Helen Scott

Lou Rawls ( image Pinterest)

4. The Three degrees performed for Prince Charles of England ( Prince of Wales) on his 30th birthday in 1978 and were guests at his pre- wedding party for his marriage to Diana Spencer in 1981.

Prince Charles (

Source of information: Wikipedia and google search engine

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