The PersuasionsView in iTunes
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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 them -- and with it the really big breakthrough -- but their music has been a consistently enjoyable sidebar, and never one that has simply reeked of revivalism, remaining fresh through releases like 1993's Toubo's Song, 1994's Right Around the Corner, and 1996's Sincerely. 1999's On the Good Ship Lollipop was a foray into children's music, while a year later the group issued Frankly a Cappella: The Persuasions Sing Zappa and Might as Well...The Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead. [For more information, visit www.jerrylawson.biz]~ Colin Escott