On this day in music history: August 9, 1975 -…

On this day in music history: August 9, 1975 – “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon” by Sharon Paige & Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #42 on the Hot 100 on August 2, 1975. Written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, it is the biggest hit for the Philadelphia born vocalist, and third chart topper for the vocal quintet lead by Harold Melvin. Originally titled “Let’s Get Together Soon”, Gamble and Huff write the song in 1969 for Dusty Springfield’s album “A Brand New Me”, which will not attract any attention. Five years later, the producers revisit the song, re-writing as “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon”. In the mid 70’s, Sharon Paige is an aspiring singer in Philadelphia, having made the rounds in local talent shows and clubs around town when she crosses paths with Kenny and Leon. She lands a job working in their offices, but neither are enthusiastic about her vocal abilities. That changes when she winds up on stage at a club in Washington DC with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Confident that he has a potential hit artist on his hands, Melvin takes Paige into the studio to record. Cut at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, the basic track is recorded with The Blue Notes road band instead of MFSB’s rhythm section with the exception of guitarist Bobby Eli, who plays all of the guitars on the track. Arranger Bobby Martin writes the horn and string arrangement on the track. And unlike many of the previous hits that The Blue Notes have had, it does not feature prominent lead vocals by Teddy Pendergrass. Harold Melvin himself handles most of the male lead, with Pendergrass only singing near the end of the song. Issued as the second single from the group’s third album “To Be True” in May of 1975, it quickly becomes an R&B radio smash. Sharon Paige moves into a more prominent role in The Blue Notes after Teddy Pendergrass departs for a solo career in 1976. The group leave Philadelphia International Records in 1977 with Paige in tow, with Sharon Paige recording a solo album for ABC Records which does not yield any major hits. The Blue Notes and Paige join forces again in 1980, releasing “The Blue Album” on MCA Records’ (having absorbed ABC) Source imprint. The album is a modest success, peaking at #15 on the Billboard R&B album chart.