The Three Degrees

Philly soul vocal group the Three Degrees started in 1963 in Philadelphia, PA. They were discovered by producer and songwriter Richard Barrett. Barrett was a key force for 1950s groups the Chantels, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and his own group the Valentines. The original lineup was Fayette Pickney, Shirley Porter, and Linda Turner. Barrett recorded this lineup on their first single, "Gee Baby (I'm Sorry)." In 1963, Linda Turner and Shirley Porter left the group and were replaced by Helen Scott and Janet Jones. Around this time, Barrett began managing and producing Sheila Ferguson who was a high school friend of Scott. Barrett got deals for both the group and Ferguson with Swan Records. By 1966, Helen decided to leave the group and become a housewife. Sheila Ferguson took her place. She sang backup on all the Three Degrees' Swan recordings, as did the Three Degrees for her solo singles. In 1967, Valerie Holiday joined the group, while Janet Jones departed. Over the next four years, both the Three Degrees and Ferguson released many singles.