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No Frills

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Album Review

The Persuasions celebrated their 20th anniversary with this 1986 set blending classics and more contemporary material. They covered vintage songs from the Drifters and Clyde McPhatter, included a lengthy, more modern/dance tune in Candi Station's "Victim," and added a holiday number with "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve." They brought back former second tenor Joe Russell for four tracks, among them the concluding "Slip Sliding Away." There was also a credible gospel selection with "I Wonder Do You Love the Lord Like I Do." Bev Rohlehr provided an interesting additional element with a woman's voice in the harmonies on six cuts.


Formed: 1966 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A cappella singing has been part of the African-American musical tradition since the days of slavery. Despite the recent success of the hi-tech a cappella group Take 6, the tradition has suffered a steady decline to the point where it is rare even in gospel circles. The Persuasions, though, are resolutely a cappella. Their chart successes have been minimal (two fleeting R&B entries in 1974-1975), but they carry forward the tradition without appearing ossified. Airplay will probably always elude...
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No Frills, The Persuasions
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