Performing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1970.
|Birth name||Freda Charcilia Payne|
September 19, 1942 |
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Genres||Soul, R&B, jazz|
|Occupations||Singer, actress, presenter|
|Labels||Impulse, Invictus, MGM, ABC, Capitol, Volt|
Freda Charcilia Payne (born September 19, 1942)[nb 1] is an American singer and actress best known for her million selling, 1970 hit single, "Band of Gold". She was also an actress in musicals and film, as well as the host of a TV talk show. Freda is the older sister of former Supreme Scherrie Payne.
Early life and career
Payne was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up listening to different jazz singers, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. As a teenager, she attended the Detroit Institute of Musical Arts; she soon began singing radio commercial jingles, and took part in (and won many) local TV and radio talent shows.
In 1963, she moved to New York City and worked with many different entertainers, including Quincy Jones, Pearl Bailey, and Bill Cosby. The next year, her debut album, a jazz recording entitled After the Lights Go Down Low and Much More!!!, was released on the Impulse! label. (This album was re-issued on CD in Japan in early 2002, and again in the United States in 2005.) Three years later, she released her second album (another jazz effort) How Do You Say I Don't Love You Anymore, for MGM Records. She also made occasional guest appearances on different television shows including The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
She added theatrical credits to her repertoire; she understudied Leslie Uggams for the Broadway show Hallelujah Baby in 1967, and appeared with the Equity Theatre in a production of Lost in the Stars.
In 1969, her old friends back home in Detroit, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Edward Holland, Jr., persuaded her to sign with their newly formed record label Invictus. During that same year, her first Invictus single, "Unhooked Generation" (a minor R&B hit), was released. Shortly thereafter, Eddie Holland offered her a song entitled "Band of Gold", which he along with Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier co-wrote (under the pen name Edythe Wayne) with Ronald Dunbar. In early 1970, the song became an instant pop smash reaching #3 in the US and #1 in the UK for six consecutive weeks; it also gave Payne her first gold record. Global sales were estimated at two million. An album of the same name proved to be fairly successful as well. Other Invictus singles included "Deeper and Deeper", "You Brought the Joy", and the Vietnam War protest song "Bring the Boys Home" (U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #12, 1971; her second gold record. Her other Invictus albums were Contact (1971), The Best of Freda Payne (1972, a compilation which included four new, unissued songs), and her last Invictus album Reaching Out (1973).
In 1973, she left Invictus and recorded albums for ABC/Dunhill and Capitol, but she never found the commercial success that she had enjoyed with Invictus. She recorded a duet "I Wanna See You Soon" with Capitol stablemates Tavares, which was a radio airplay hit in the UK in 1977.
She released three disco albums for Capitol from 1977 to 1979, "Stares And Whispers", "Supernatural high" and "Hot". The first one features the disco hit "Love Magnet" produced by Frank Wilson (1977).
In 1981, she briefly hosted her own talk show Today's Black Woman, and also found work acting in different movies, Broadway and other theatre productions throughout the 1980s. Although she was concentrating more on acting by that time, she never gave up music; in 1982, she recorded a single entitled "In Motion" for the Sutra label in New York, and in 1986, she recorded a remake of her old hit "Band of Gold" with Belinda Carlisle.
In 1990, she recorded three songs for Ian Levine's UK Motorcity label: another remake of "Band of Gold," "Memories and Souvenirs," and "Only Minutes Away." In the mid-1990s, she released three albums for Dove Music: Freda Payne Sings the (Unauthorized) I Hate Barney Songbook: A Parody (1995, a comedy album), An Evening With Freda Payne: Live in Concert which featured her sister Scherrie Payne on background vocals, and her first (and only) Christmas album Christmas With Freda and Friends, which featured a duet between Freda and Scherrie (both 1996). She also continued her acting career appearing in the films, Private Obsession (1995), Ragdoll (1999), Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), and Fire & Ice (made-for-TV, 2001).
In early 2003, she performed in a show called Love & Payne, with Darlene Love at Feinstein's at the Regency in New York, and at the Cinegrill in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, getting excellent reviews.
During the early 2000s, the following compilation albums of her music were released: Lost in Love (which includes nine of her post-Invictus recordings), Band of Gold: The Best of Freda Payne (both 2000), Unhooked Generation: The Complete Invictus Recordings (2001), and The Best of Freda Payne: Ten Best Series (2002).
In 2011 Payne recorded a duet, "Saving A Life", with British pop star Sir Cliff Richard for inclusion on his "Soulicious" album. She also joined Richard on his "Soulicious" tour of the UK in October of the same year. She sang the new duet with Richard along with her own hit "Band Of Gold".
|Year||Single||Chart positions[dead link]|
|1962||"(Desafinado) Slightly Out of Tune"||—||—||—||—|
|1966||"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"||—||—||—||—|
|1969||"The Unhooked Generation"||—||43||—||—|
|1970||"Band of Gold"||3||20||—||1|
|"Deeper & Deeper"||24||9||—||33|
|1971||"Cherish What Is Dear to You (While It's Near To You)"||44||11||—||46|
|"Bring the Boys Home"||12||3||—||—|
|"You Brought the Joy"||52||21||—||—|
|1972||"The Road We Didn't Take"||100||—||—||—|
|"Through the Memory of My Mind"||—||—||—||—|
|1973||"Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right"||—||75||—||—|
|"For No Reason"||—||—||—||—|
|1974||"It's Yours to Have"||—||81||—||—|
|1975||"I Get Carried Away"||—||—||—||—|
|1976||"I Get High (On Your Memory)"||—||—||—||—|
|1977||"Bring Back the Joy"||—||—||—||—|
|1978||"Feed Me Your Love"||—||—||—||—|
|"Happy Days Are Here Again/Happy Music (Dance the Night Away)"||—||—||—||—|
|1979||"I'll Do Anything for You"||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes the single failed to chart|
- 1964: After the Lights Go Down Low and Much More!!!
- 1965: Freda Payne in Stockholm
- 1966: How Do You Say I Don't Love You Anymore
- 1970: Band of Gold (U.S. Pop #60, U.S. R&B #17)
- 1971: Contact (U.S. Pop #76, U.S. R&B #12)
- 1973: Reaching Out
- 1974: Payne & Pleasure (U.S. R&B #55)
- 1975: Out of Payne Comes Love
- 1977: Stares and Whispers
- 1978: Supernatural High
- 1979: Hot
- 1995: Freda Payne Sings the (Unauthorized) I Hate Barney Songbook: A Parody
- 1996: An Evening with Freda Payne: Live in Concert
- 1996: Christmas With Freda and Friends
- 1999: Live in Concert
- 2001: Come See About Me
- 2007: On the Inside
- 1972: The Best of Freda Payne (U.S. Pop #152, U.S. R&B #44)
- 1991: Greatest Hits
- 2000: Lost in Love
- 2000: Band of Gold: The Best of Freda Payne
- 2001: Unhooked Generation: The Complete Invictus Recordings
- 2002: The Best of Freda Payne: Ten Best Series
- 2006: Flashbacks: Soul Sensation – Compilation
- 2009: Freda Payne: High Standards with Stanley Turrentine and Jerome Richardson
- 2009: Live in Concert with The Stylistics
As an actress
- 1973: Book of Numbers
- 1997: Sprung
- 1999: Ragdoll
- 2000: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
- 2001: Deadly Rhapsody
- 2007: Cordially Invited
- 2014: Ella: First Lady of Song
- List of soul musicians
- List of disco artists (F-K)
- List of people from Detroit
- List of acts who appeared on American Bandstand
- List of people who appeared on Soul Train
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- Some sources give a birth year of 1945, but this appears to be an error as all sources agree that she is older than her sister Scherrie, born 1944.
- "Freda Payne." Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 58. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 5 Aug. 2011.
- "Freda Payne." Almanac of Famous People. Gale, 2007. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 5 Aug. 2011.
- "Freda Payne." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. Vol. 98. Gale, 2010. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 5 Aug. 2011.
- "Biography by Greg Prato". Allmusic.com. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- Discogs.com - accessed March 2009
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins. p. 301. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 136. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- "Freda Payne - Discography". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "Freda Payne - Hot [Capitol Records ST-12003]". Wax FM. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "Freda Payne - Stares And Whispers". Wax FM. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- History Makers - Biodata
- Colin Larkin, The Virgin encyclopedia of R&B and soul, p.257
- Interview with Scherrie payne, Blues and Soul
- "Freda Payne". www.sanfrancisco.com. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "Who Is Freda Payne And Why Was She On 'American Idol'?". MTV. April 23, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "'We Are The World -- 25 For Haiti' Artists Include Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber". MTV. February 2, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "FREDA PAYNE & GREGORY ABBOTT" at Panache Report.com
- "Freda Payne US singles chart history". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- Freda Payne UK singles chart history at chartstas.com, accessdate=2010-12-17
- "Allmusic.com ((( Freda Payne > Charts & Awards > Albums )))".
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/metrostages-ella-has-plenty-of-swing-thanks-to-freda-paynes-spot-on-singing-as-fitzgerald/2014/02/06/c8143852-8e7f-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html. Missing or empty