Freda Charcilia Payne, 19 September 1945, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Schooled in jazz and classical music, this urbane singer attended the Institute Of Musical Arts and worked with Pearl Bailey prior to recording her debut album in 1963 for MGM Records. Payne signed to Holland/Dozier/Hollands label Invictus Records and her first recording, The Unhooked Generation, introduced a new-found soul style, but it was the magnificent follow-up, Band Of Gold (1970), that established Paynes reputation. This ambiguous wedding-night drama was a US number 3 and UK number 1 and prepared the way for several more excellent singles in Deeper And Deeper, You Brought The Joy and Bring The Boys Home, an uncompromising anti-Vietnam anthem. Ensuing releases lacked her early purpose and were marred by Paynes increasingly unemotional delivery. The singer moved to ABC / Dunhill Records (1974), Capitol Records (1976)...
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