Happy Monday, Everyone! This week’s featured artist is Mr. Peabo Bryson.
Peabo Bryson (born Robert Peapo Bryson, April 13, 1951, given name changed from “Peapo” to Peabo c. 1965) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, born in Greenville, South Carolina. He is well known for singing soft-rock ballads (often as a duo with female singers) and his contribution to several Disney animated feature soundtracks.
As one of the oldest of four siblings, two sisters and a brother, he spent much of his childhood on his grandfather’s farm in Mauldin, South Carolina. His love for music stemmed from his mother, who often took the family to concerts of well-known African-American artists at the time, such as Sam Cooke, Little Richard and Billie Holiday.
At age 14, Bryson marked his professional debut singing backup for Al Freeman and the Upsetters, a local Greenville group. It was Freeman’s difficulty in pronouncing Bryson’s French West Indian name, ‘Peapo’, that led Bryson to change its spelling to Peabo. Two years later he left home to tour the chitlin’ circuit with another local band, Moses Dillard and the Tex-Town Display. Bryson’s first break came during a recording session at Atlanta’s Bang Records.
Although Bang was not impressed with Dillard’s band, the young backup singer caught the ear of the label’s general manager, Eddie Biscoe. Biscoe signed Bryson to a contract as a writer, producer, and arranger and encouraged Bryson to perform his own songs. For several years Bryson worked with hometown bands and wrote and produced for Bang. In 1976, he launched his own recording career with “Underground Music” on the Bang label. His first album, Peabo, followed shortly thereafter. Although only a regional success, Bryson signed to Capitol Records in 1977.
I’m so into You Let the feeling flow