Peggy Scott-Adams Biography

Peggy Stoutmeyer, 25 June 1948, Opp, Alabama, USA. After forming her own gospel group, the Gospel Harmonettes, while still at school, Scott-Adams became the featured vocalist with Ben E. King’s band. She then briefly sang with The Sextet, a trio formed by James And Bobby Purify, and survived a near-fatal car crash that threatened her career. Relocating to Jackson, Mississippi, Scott-Adams recorded a series of highly successful R&B singles with Jo Jo Benson for the SSS label in the late 60s, including ‘Pickin’ Wild Mountain Berries’, ‘Lover’s Holiday’ and ‘Soul Shake’. In 1970 the duo moved to Atlantic Records, and recorded with Jerry Wexler at Muscle Shoals Studios, but their successful run of singles had by now dried up. Scott-Adams also released two solo singles for Atco Records, before the duo broke up in 1971. She went on to record for Old Town, Mercury Records and RCA Records, before reuniting with Benson and achieving moderate success with Nothing Can Stand In Our Way in the early 80s. She subsequently disappeared from the music business, working in her husband’s funeral home, reappearing briefly to duet with Ray Charles on his Would You Believe and Strong Love Affair albums. She came out of her musical ‘retirement’ with the release of a new album, Help Yourself, in 1996. As she wryly told Billboard magazine shortly after its release: ‘I had this quiet little life just five months ago. You know, being a mortician’s wife, well, it’s a very serene business. Then all hell broke loose.’ Her breakthrough with Help Yourself had much to do with the success of the attendant single, ‘Bill’, on local blues and R&B radio stations. The song, which described the loss of a lover, not to another woman, but to a man, was written by Jimmy Lewis, the owner of Miss Butch Records. Scott-Adams had initially been reluctant to record such a potentially controversial single; however, she was pleased with the attendant publicity, which helped to promote album sales. Help Yourself included other strong tracks, particularly the tender soul ballad ‘I’ll Take Care Of You’, which reminded many of her late 60s peak.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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