25 Apr: The Band of Gold Mystery

Freda Payne’s banger ‘Band Of Gold’ sounds like a Motown record, but actually isn’t. Although written by Berry Gordy’s hit-making trio Holland-Dozier-Holland, it was released on their breakaway label, Invictus, on 25th April, 1970.

Ever since, fans have speculated as to the meaning of its lyrics and the nature of the crumbled relationship within. “That night on our honeymoon / We stayed in separate rooms,” Payne sings. Was her betrothed a closeted homosexual? Impotent? Frigid?

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explore how this ‘proto-disco’ classic has been embraced as a gay anthem; explain why Payne originally felt ill-equipped to sing the song that made her name; and credit the extraordinary track record of Detroit’s Hutchins Middle School… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Band of Gold by Freda Payne’ (Songfacts): https://www.songfacts.com/facts/freda-payne/band-of-gold

• ‘Holland-Dozier-Holland (1962-1970)’ (Black Past, 2021): https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/groups-organizations-african-american-history/holland-dozier-holland-1962-1970/

• ‘Freda Payne – Band Of Gold’ (Soul Train, 1970):

#US #Black #70s #Music

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