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Wed, 02.28.1962

The Persuasions (Singing Group) is Formed

The Persuasions

*The Persuasions are celebrated on this date in 1962.  They are a Black a cappella group.  

They began singing together in Brooklyn literally under corner streetlights and in subway corridors.   Their style combined gospel, soul, early rock and jazz into melodic five-part harmonies. Since being discovered by Frank Zappa, The Persuasions have recorded over 25 albums to date.  

Over the years, they made appearances on such public affairs television shows as Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant and Like It Is in 1968.  Zappa heard The Persuasions singing over the phone from a New Jersey record shop known as Stan's Square Records. The store's owner, Stan Krause, was the group's manager at the time. Prior to that time, The Persuasions had recorded several a cappella tracks for Krause's record label, Catamount Records. Zappa flew them to Los Angeles to record their first album Acappella.  

The Persuasions were the opening act at The Mothers of Invention concerts at Carnegie Hall, 1971. Thirty years later, Zappa fan Rip Rense supervised and encouraged the group in the creation of a Persuasions tribute CD to Zappa, Frankly A Cappella. In 1990, The Persuasions performed on the PBS TV special Spike Lee & Company – "Do It A Cappella". The Persuasions later recorded tribute albums consisting of material by the Grateful Dead (Might as Well), the Beatles (The Persuasions sing the Beatles) and Ladies & Gentlemen, the Persuasions and The Bare-naked Ladies.  Groups as varied as Take 6, Rockapella, The Nylons, and Boyz II Men cite The Persuasions as major influences. 

In 2019, representatives of all of the original members of the Persuasions collectively sued Warner and Universal for their unpaid royalties. The record companies admitted to having six figures in monies belonging to the persuasions which they unilaterally decided to "mind for them" as they claimed it would be too hard for black men to figure out how to collect it from unclaimed funds at the Secretary of State. They continue to try to keep their money to date.  

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