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8:02am on Tuesday, 7th July, 2009:

One Degree of Connection


I heard today that Fayette Pinkney died a couple of weeks ago.

Fayette Pinkney was in the original line-up of The Three Degrees, the group she was a member of from 1963-1976. Many people around my age would know her face if they saw it (she's the one on the right here), and they'd almost certainly recall the song When Will I See you Again which she sang on with the other two degrees in 1974.

However, she's not actually someone that many people can name. She wasn't even the most well-known member of The Three Degrees — that would be Sheila Ferguson. I'm sure that diehard fans of the group will know who she is, and people with an interest in the Philadelphia Sound, but the general population? Never heard of her!

Being a member of the general population, by all rights I shouldn't have heard of her either. Indeed, if you were to stop me and say, "name two members of The Three Degrees", I'd probably get Ferguson right away but it would take a while to dredge up Pinkney. I would, however, be able to tell you which group Fayette Pinkney was a member of (assuming I didn't keep thinking "I know it's not The Supremes, which would be enough to stop me from bringing any group to mind other than The Supremes). Isn't Diana Ross in charge of Iran nowadays?

As it happens, though, I do know who Fayette Pinkney is, or rather was. The reason: her birthday was 10th January, the same as mine.

Why couldn't it have been Rod Stewart instead?

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).