When you hear the name The Three Degrees, you immediately think of their most famous song, When Will I See You Again, or perhaps, TSOP-The Sound of Philadelphia (the original Soul Train Theme), with MFSB.
For more than 50 years, the threesome has retained all three of their major qualities their beauty, their sparkling choreography, and their precise vocal harmonies. Today the group consists of Valerie Holiday, Helen Scott and Freddie Pool. Valerie and Helen are “senior members”, as they say with a smile, both beginning in the early 60’s, in Philadelphia. The group’s first mark on the recording scene came by way of the Philly-based Swan Records.
In 1970, they signed with the New York-based Roulette Records and had a memorable hit with the remake of the song “Maybe”, with Valerie Holiday on lead vocals and her unforgettable rap. During this time, the trio made a cameo appearance in the movie The French Connection , portraying themselves, in a cabaret scene.
In 1972, the group signed with Gamble and Huff’s acclaimed label Philadelphia International Records and remained on the label for 3 years. They had continuous chart success beginning with Dirty Ol’ Man, ‘TSOP-The Sound of Philadelphia, Year of Decision, Take Good Care of Yourself’, and of course the timeless When Will I See You Again. This string of hits pushed them to soaring heights and began their international success.
In, 1976, they moved to Epic Records and released one album. Two years later, they teamed up with Giorgio Moroder (of Donna Summer fame), on Ariola Records and a new string of hits helped the threesome to make some of their biggest strides like Giving Up, Giving In, The Runner, My Simple Heart, and the ballad Woman In Love. They captured the attention of HRH Prince Charles and were fondly referenced as “Charlie’s Angels”. The trio was asked to perform for many charity events hosted by several members of “The Royal Family”. In 1978 They were asked to perform at the 30th birthday celebration for Prince Charles, at Buckingham Palace, and in 1981, they were invited guests at the wedding reception of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
After five decades of existence, The Three Degrees are in The Guinness Book of World Records, as the Longest Running Female Vocal Trio in history”, and they show no signs of slowing down.