The Three Degrees are the longest-running female vocal group in pop music history. Their song ‘When Will I See You Again’ was written and produced by the Philadelphia songwriting and production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and released on their Philadelphia International Records in 1974. It is a song that has stood the test of time, and many people have expressed their admiration for it over the years, as seen from the comments on YouTube.
The song was initially not well-received by the lead vocalist Sheila Ferguson, who played the song on the piano by Kenny Gamble in 1973. She threw a tantrum and screamed, saying that the song was too simple and that it took no talent to sing. However, the Three Degrees ended up performing the song, and several million copies later, Sheila realized that Kenny knew more than she did. The song’s unique feature is that every sentence is a question, heightening the overall emotional effect.
In 1978, The Three Degrees performed the song at Prince Charles’ 30th birthday party at Buckingham Palace, adding to the song’s long-standing popularity. It hit number one on several charts in the United States, including the Billboard Hot 100, Cash Box Top 100, and the Easy Listening chart. It also topped charts in the UK and Canada, making it a global hit.
The YouTube comments section is full of praise for the song and the group. One commenter called it a “brilliantly beautiful song,” while another said it was one of their all-time favorites. Several commenters mentioned the gorgeous voices and looks of the ladies, with one even calling them “pure class.” Others said the song was soothing, smooth, and beautiful and brought back memories.
The year 1973, when the song was recorded, was a time of cultural and musical upheaval. The United States was still reeling from the Watergate scandal, which had forced President Nixon to resign the previous year. In other news, a gallon of gas was 40 cents, and a dozen eggs cost 45 cents. In addition, it was the year that the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders and that Roe v. Wade, the landmark case legalizing abortion in the United States, was decided.
The Three Degrees’ performance of ‘When Will I See You Again’ stands out as a shining example of the best pop music offers. The song’s timeless quality has endured for nearly fifty years, and the Three Degrees’ vocal performance is second to none. The emotion and feeling they bring to the song are palpable, and it is easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with it over the years.
If you haven’t already watched the performance, you owe it to yourself to do so. The Three Degrees are indeed a group for the ages, and ‘When Will I See You Again’ is a song that will touch your heart and soul. So share it with your friends, and let them experience the beauty and emotion of this timeless classic.