The Persuaders (R&B group)

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The Persuaders are a New York based R&B vocal group best known for their gold hit single in the 1970s, "Thin Line Between Love and Hate". It sold over a million copies, topping the Billboard R&B chart, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 29, 1971.[1]


The original members formed the group in New York in 1969 after singing previously with other local groups. They were signed by Atlantic Records in 1971 with an original line-up of Douglas "Smokey" Scott, Willie Holland, James Barnes and Charles Stodghill, Charles Pugh and Thomas Williams. [2] By 1973, and their second album, John Tobias and Thomas Lee Hill had replaced Barnes and Stodghill.

The group stayed with Atco/Atlantic for four years and scored a number of R&B and pop hits, including three R&B Top 10 hits. The Persuaders' sound involved close harmony, Scott's rough but emotive lead vocals and a heavily-orchestrated soul and R&B approach, the trademark of the Poindexter brothers, Richard and Bobby, who produced most of the early 1970s hits through their Win Or Lose production company. Bobby Poindexter produced the second album with his wife Jackie Members. The group's later Atco recordings were produced by Phil Hurtt, Tony Bell and LeBaron Taylor in Philadelphia.

The Persuaders which, by 1973, featured group members, Douglas "Smokey" Scott, Thomas Lee Hill, William Coleman and Richard Gant recorded the original soul versions of songs later covered by other artists, most notably: "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" (from their Atlantic / Atco album of the same name - William Coleman & Richard Gant are featured on this album), made a major hit by Gladys Knight & the Pips; "Some Guys Have All The Luck", covered by Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart[2] and by Maxi Priest; and "Thin Line Between Love and Hate", covered by H-Town and later by the reggae group Black Slate and the British rock band The Pretenders. The song's title and theme were also used for a 1996 Martin Lawrence film of the same name.

The group recorded an album on the Calla label (distributed by CBS Records) in 1976, again in Philadelphia but this time with producers Robert Curington and Norman Harris, entitled It's All About Love. One track, the ballad "I Need Love" was an R&B chart hit. They later released one single on Brunswick Records in 1981, with Douglas Scott still as lead singer. The group brought out four albums in the 1970s.

As former members left and new members trickled in, The Persuaders' R&B legacy continued into the 21st century with a new line-up of Vincent (Vince) Ballard, Sylvester (Jay) Jones, Tmarvin Williams and Keith (Soul) Simmons.[3] The name, The Persuaders is a legally registered trademark.

Hit singles[edit]



  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 301. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ a b c "Biography by Ron Wynn". Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "The Persuaders". 

External links[edit]