Brandye was created in 1975 in Detroit, Michigan. The original members were Cynthia Douglas, Pamela Vincent and Donna Davis. Donna and Cynthia had been roommates in college and were introduced to Pam by mutual friend and songstress, Diane Steinberg. There was instant chemistry in the blend of their voices, and their personalities meshed as well.
Pam had been a studio singer for years but found herself without a group when her sister Joyce Vincent and associate Telma Hopkins had been plucked by Tony Orlando to become “Dawn”. Donna and Cynthia had been performing as a duo. Their first impromptu performance of “Dock of the Bay”, was in the lobby of their dorm at Eastern Michigan University. A few months later they were on stage at Cobo Arena in Detroit, MI, with an audience of 10,000….again singing “Dock of the Bay”.
Within days of being introduced, the girls found themselves in the studio recording what would be the first of thousands of recording sessions to come. “Open the Door to my Heart” by Sonny Munro was the start of it all. Before long, Brandye was running from studio to studio, sometimes doing several sessions a day. The girls earned quite a reputation of being professional and technically agile in both vocals and vocal arrangements.
In 1976, they were awarded the RIAA’s first ever Platinum Single for Johnnie Taylor’s Mega hit “Disco Lady” which remains on playlists still today. A month later, they went platinum again with “You Don’t Have to Be a Star” by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis. They rounded out that year with yet another platinum record for Parliament/Funkadelic with the almighty “P-Funk”. Brandye has recorded in studios from Detroit, to Nashville, Los Angeles, Miami and Muscle Shoals. Their talents were sought after by mega producers like Don Davis, Brad Shapiro and Jerry Wexler.
Cynthia Douglas left the group in 1980 and was replaced briefly by Melody McCully, who was then replaced by Pamela Lawson.
During their career the girls have recorded over 4000 records, and have earned 16 Gold and Platinum Record Awards, as well as numerous TV commercials and soundtracks.
Brandye has recorded with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Bob Seger, Johnnie Taylor, Parliament Funkadelic, Mavis Staples, Blackfoot, Bobby Womack, The Dramatics. Isaac Hayes and Millie Jackson, just to name a few. They have shared stages with Aretha Franklin, Bob Hope, and Peabo Bryson.
“Our credentials speak to the awesome experiences that have shaped our careers as entertainers, and have given rise to our voices. What a journey it has been to date……We can’t wait to see what the future holds!”
The original founding members are planning to get together soon.
Is there a Reunion in the works?