The Persuaders (R&B group)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Persuaders are a New York City-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 previously singing 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.[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, Joey 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 the Martin Lawrence comedy film of the same name in 1996.

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 two new line-ups of Persuaders. One group which tours as "The Persuaders" features Vincent Ballard, Sylvester Jones, Tmarvin Williams, and Keith Simmons. The other group of Persuaders are currently touring as "The Persuaders Revue" featuring: Evan Wills, Chris white, Bernard Taylor and David Turner, (the original lead singer of "The Implements") David was the first to record the hit song "Look Over Your Shoulder") There are no original members left. The last original member of the Persuaders, Willie Holland, died on February 13, 2016.[3]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Record label

1972 Thin Line Between Love and Hate 141 35 Win Or Lose
1973 The Persuaders 178 39 ATCO
1974 Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me 36
1977 It's All About Love Calla
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]


Year Title Peak chart positions

1971 "Thin Line Between Love and Hate" 15 1 80
"Love Gonna Pack Up (And Walk Out)" 64 8
1972 "If This Is What You Call Love (I Don't Want No Part of It)" 27
"Peace in the Valley of Love" 104 21
1973 "Bad, Bold and Beautiful, Girl" 105 24
"Some Guys Have All the Luck" 39 7 64
1974 "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" 85 29
"All Strung Out on You" 32
1975 "I've Been Through This Before"
1977 "I Need Love" 34
"The Quickest Way Out"
1981 "Another Time Another Place" (featuring Douglas Scott)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  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 "Biography by Ron Wynn". Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  3. ^ Chris Rizik, "R.I.P. Willie B. Holland, last original member of The Persuaders", Retrieved 11 April 2016
  4. ^ a b c d "US Charts > The Persuaders". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  5. ^ "CAN Charts > The Persuaders". RPM. Retrieved 2016-02-01.

External links[edit]