Three Degrees- ST

This little gem was $4.  I got it to diversify the blog which is much needed given where the second half of September is heading.  What is this you say?  Well, stay tuned to find out.

Formed in Philadelphia, and rising up with the Philadelphia Sound of the 1970’s, The Three Degrees started their career in 1963..  This is the second studio album and the first on Philadelphia International Records, the label of Gamble and Huff (and Thom Bell).  Released in 1973, this features the group with the lineup that brought them their biggest hits.  This lineup, which formed from 1967- 1976, featured original member Fayette Pinkney along with Valerie Holiday, and Shelia Ferguson.  Consequently, a version led by Holiday still performs today.

Link to The Three Degrees’ Web Site

Anyway, back to the record, it was among one of their most successful and spawned four singles; “Dirty Ol’ Man”, “I Didn’t Know”, “Year of Decision” and ” When Will I See You Again”, which went to #2 in the US and #1 in the UK.

For a sample, I decided to go with “Can’t You See What You Are Doing To Me”.

Pretty good album.  Satisfactory.


VA- Barbershop Champions from the Great Southwestern District

In the two years I have been doing this blog, I have yet to post a barbershop quartet album although it is not lack of wanting to.  So to celebrate the diversity of music I pride myself on blogging about, here is this.  Also, because it is from the Great Southwestern District, which Houston is a part of, there is the local angle, which I frequently like to play on this site.  Both these factors justify the $4 price.

I am somewhat disappointed that there has been no radical movements in the world of barbershop with the exception of Homer Simpson and Bioshock Infinite.  I would have figured more hipsters would have done something with the genre by now, but a quick Youtube search proved fruitless.  I guess it is kind of hard to move a traditional style in radical movements but dammit that is what good music does.  I guess I should give some credit to Jimmy Fallon on the subject.

Well, there is this from 1974, an album of regional quartet and chorus finalists.  Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Austin, Baton Rouge, and Tulsa are all represented here.  The winners in the chorus division were The Sound Association from San Antonio.  The Vocal Majority from Dallas won the quartet division although they probably cheated.

Houston is represented in both categories (and subsequently, both sides of this record). The Gulf Coasters, consisting of Marlin Griffith, John Grosnick, John Hammond, and Tommy Gartman formed the quartet.  The chorus, The Tidelanders, were led by Mike McCord. . Both acts finished 2nd. Apparently, both are around in some fashion.

Link to Tidelanders page

Link to The Gulf Coasters.

For a sample, I wanted to go with the local talent.  From the chorus selections, here are The Tidelanders with “Wonderful Songs Medley”.  From the Barbershop Quartets, here are the Gulf Coasters with the sort of creepy “When I Was A Kid Next Door”.  Also from the quartets, here is Baton Rouge’s The Southernaires with “I Love To Hear That Old Barbershop Style”.

I got a kick out of this album.  Quality could have been better but overall, it is ok.  Satisfactory.