Fayette Pinkney, Shirley Porter and Linda Turner formed this Philadelphia vocal trio in 1963.
Porter and Turner were soon replaced by Janet Harmon and Helen Scott, and the line-up from 1967 to 1976 comprised Pinkney, Valerie Holiday and Sheila Ferguson, who would go on to sing lead on most of their biggest hits after the group was fashioned into a slick act with the ability to play intense soul as well as smooth ballads and disco-style dance music.
Best known for their 1974 hit, When Will I See You Again? the group had a greater impact in Britain than they did in America, although their credibility was somewhat slighted when Prince Charles declared them his favourite band in the 70s.
He invited them to perform at his 30th birthday party on 15 November 1978 where it became apparent to lead vocalist Sheila Ferguson that he also appreciated her personal finer points!
When Fayette Pinkney left the group in 1976, she was replaced by a returning Helen Scott. Pinkney recorded one solo album (1979’s One Degree) before quitting music to work as an education coordinator, counsellor and therapist in Philadelphia. She passed away in 2009.
Sheila Ferguson left for a solo career in 1986.
15 women have been members of the Three Degrees over the years, but the group has always remained a trio. The most stable line-up was from 1989 to 2010 with Cynthia Garrison joining Holiday and Scott and producing a final UK chart entry with a dance cover of Wham!s Last Christmas reaching #54 in 1998.
Helen Scott (1963 – 1966), (1976 – present)
Fayette Pinkney (1963 – 1976)
Sheila Ferguson (1966 – 1986)
Valerie Holiday (1967 – present)
Janet Harmon (1963 – 1967)
Linda Turner (1963)
Shirley Porter (1963)
Sundray Tucker (1967)
Sonia Goring (1967)
Miquel Brown (1986)
Vera Brown (1986 – 1987)
Rhea Harris (1987 – 1988)
Victoria Wallace (1988 – 1989)
Cynthia Garrison (1989 – 2010)
Freddi Poole (2011 – present)