Are We In Love Or Just Friends?

At one time, girl groups used to be all over music. Now, not so much. That’s not to say they don’t exist. But I can hardly think of many (or any) that have crossed my radar, with the exception of Fifth Harmony. I only know of them thanks to my daughter.

But in the late 50s through the early 60s, girl groups were all around. The Shangri-Las, The Chantels, The Shirelles, The Chiffons, and on and on. Once the Beatles arrived, many of those groups found the going a lot tougher. Then came the likes of The Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas and The Marvelettes, out of Motown. Sure they were girl groups, but they were closely identified with the label and the sound they provided.

The rock writer Dave Marsh once said in his book The Heart Of Rock & Soul that today’s Morning Groove was the “last chapter in the girl group story.” While it has the sound of the then-popular Philadelphia International Records house band MFSB behind it, it truly sounds like a song any one of those old girl groups of that bygone era would have sung, and sung proudly.

Today’s Morning Groove is “When Will I See You Again” by The Three Degrees.

By far their biggest hit credited only to themselves (which leaves out MFSB’s TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) on which they were featured vocalists), “When Will I See You Again” is three minutes of girl group heaven. The song peaked at #2 on the Pop chart and #4 on the R&B chart in 1974. It also proved to be their biggest hit internationally. Though the group did have four top ten R&B hits in the States, they proved to be more popular overseas, where their songs did much better than they did stateside.

In my youth, the group was more famous for appearing on the television show Sanford & Son and for singing on TSOP (which was the theme for the television show Soul Train for a time), than for this song. It was later in life that I learned to appreciate what a beautiful song this is. The Three Degrees formed in 1963 and are still performing today, but not with the original members. The members of the group through their most successful period were Fayette Pinkney, Sheila Ferguson and Valerie Holiday; Holiday joined the group in 1967 and remains with them today. Pinkney passed away in 2009.

I hope you enjoy today’s Morning Groove, and as always thanks for reading and listening.

4 Replies to “Are We In Love Or Just Friends?”

  1. YAAASSS Honey! The Three Degrees! I mentioned them on My Jams ’89–you’ll have to read it to see why. Another Twin synchronicity!
    Ironically, this is the first song that I remember by them. I can’t say that I remember it first hand-meaning when it came out. That said, I’ve known and loved it for a long time.
    By the way, I sent my brother a video of The Three Degrees singing the song “I didn’t know” that was featured on Sanford and Son. He didn’t know that it was a ‘real’ song and not something that they improvised. (I included the video here.)
    These Queens had harmonies that were just plain out of this world!
    Did I mention that I love The Three Degrees? LOL!
    Thanks for giving me this gift today! YAASSSS!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will be there in a bit, I have a few things to do first. You know I won’t miss your My Jams party!

      I KNEW you would dig that Sanford & Son reference! “We want The Three Degrees!” “We want The Three Degrees!” And yes, those sisters could sing! I would say that I knew them more for their vocals on the Soul Train theme than for today’s song…but like you, I love today’s song. It never fails to get me to sing along with it when I hear it.

      Just wanted to answer your comment, and thank you for leaving it. I was beginning to think that NO ONE had any idea who the Three Degrees were!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know me so well!
        Skillet: “You’re not Mr. Comedy, You’re Mr. Tragedy!”
        The Three Degrees is a must. But the way, they also did a version of “Find my way” which was made popular by Cameo on the Thank God It’s Friday Soundtrack.
        Here you go:

        Word is that they were Prince Charles’ favorite group.
        Sheila Ferguson resides in England-at least she did for a long time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I had read where they were the featured performers for one of his birthday parties. I’ve never heard their version of this song…but it’s done in their classic style. I also like their version of The Chantels “Maybe”:


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