Freda Payne – Band Of Gold (1970)

Written by on 19 March 2021

“Band of Gold” is a popular song written and composed by former Motown producers Holland–Dozier–Holland (under the pseudonym of Edythe Wayne) and Ron Dunbar. It was a major hit when first recorded by Freda Payne in 1970 for the Invictus label, owned by H-D-H. The song has been recorded by numerous artists, notably competing 1986 versions by contrasting pop singers Belinda Carlisle and Bonnie Tyler, and a 2007 version by Kimberley Locke.

The legendary songwriting team of Holland–Dozier–Holland used the name Edythe Wayne because of a lawsuit in which they were embroiled with Motown. Ron Dunbar was a staff employee and producer for Invictus. When they first offered the song to Freda Payne, she baulked at the idea of recording it, finding the material more appropriate for a teenager or very young woman while she was nearly 30 years old. Payne reluctantly gave in after much persuasion by Dunbar. Almost immediately following its release, the Payne record became an instant pop smash, reaching number three in the US and number one on the UK singles chart and remaining there for six weeks in September 1970, giving Payne her first gold record.

After Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in 1967, they were still in contact with Motown’s house band, the Funk Brothers and when they started their own recording company, with the intention of self-producing the songs they wrote, they asked the Funk Brothers to play on those songs.

Golden World/Motown session singers Pamela Vincent, Joyce Vincent Wilson, and Telma Hopkins provided the background vocals on the record. Joyce and Telma would later go on to form the group Tony Orlando & Dawn. Also singing in the background is Freda Payne’s sister and future member of the Supremes, Scherrie Payne, who was also signed to Invictus at the time as a member of the Glass House group.

The distinctive electric sitar part is played by Dennis Coffey. The lead guitar on the selection is performed by Ray Parker Jr., who later headed the team Raydio before becoming a solo recording artist in his own right.

In 2004, Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold” was voted number 391 in Rolling Stone magazine’s listing of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

You may also like

1235

Page 1 of 5


Current track

Title

Artist

Scroll Up