The Three Degrees may have scored their biggest successes in the mid-'70s, but they had been popular recording stars since the mid-'60s. This Soulful R&B trio started in Philadelphia in 1963 - they had their first chart hits in 1965 with "Gee Baby (I'm Sorry)" and "Look In My Eyes". This collection highlights their work for Swan Records.
The Three Degrees: Fayette Pickney, Linda Turner, Shirley Poole (vocals).
Includes liner notes by Mark Marymont.
Liner Note Author: Mark Marymont.
Photographers: Akimichi Yuge; Richard Barrett.
Gee Baby, I'm Sorry: The Best of the Swan Years collects 15 highlights from the Three Degrees' early years, before they signed to Philadelphia International and became stars. In fact, this collection doesn't even feature the group's Roulette singles, which did include two Top 10 R&B hits, "Maybe" and "I Do Take You." Instead, Gee Baby, I'm Sorry chronicles the group's little-known girl group recordings for Swan in the mid-'60s. Only two singles, "Gee Baby" and "Look in My Eyes," became minor hits, which is one reason why these recordings have been ignored, but another, more prominent reason is that the label went bankrupt and they subsequently disappeared. Even though these aren't perfect, these recordings don't deserve to be ignored, since they capture the Three Degrees as a good girl group. They weren't an exceptional girl group -- they certainly flourished under the direction of smooth Philly soul producers Gamble and Huff -- but they were good, and this collection will satisfy many hardcore girl group collectors, even if the material is rather uneven. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine