Freda Payne – Band Of Gold

19th September 1970 · 1970, 1970s, Music

Freda Payne was one of the greatest of all one-hit wonders, topping the chart with the stone-cold classic Band Of Gold at the end of 1970.

Freda came from Detroit, home of Motown, and had been a successful jazz singer for a decade when her hometown pals Holland-Dozier-Holland offered her this song to sing.

It shot to the top of the charts all over the world and sold two million copies, but she never managed to follow it up with another hit single, preferring to focus on her parallel career as an actress.

In the early to mid-Sixties, Freda was a well-established jazz vocalist and toured the country with both Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby, releasing several big-band albums and appearing on big TV shows. 

She had started out singing radio jingles, which attracted the attention of Berry Gordy Jr, who offered her a contract with his Motown label. But the teenager’s mother turned down his offer – just as she did when Duke Ellington offered her a ten-year contract with his orchestra.

Ironically, her biggest success came when she teamed up with the former Motown songwriting team who composed Band Of Gold (under a pseudonym) for her. In another irony, her sister Scherrie would end up on Motown when she joined The Supremes in 1974.