1967 Robert Knight – Everlasting Love
Robert Peebles has a birthdate of either 1940 or 1945, depending on which source you trust. He began singing professionally with The Paramounts, a school group that signed with Dot Records in 1960. They had a minor R&B hit with Free Me in 1961. They abandoned their contract with Dot Records and their contract with the company prohibited them from recording for another company for 4 1/2 years.
Robert began appearing professionally as Robert Knight.
Robert sang with The Fairlanes while studying chemistry at Tennessee State University. The Rising Sons record label heard the group perform at a fraternity party at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and offered Robert a recording contract.
Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden had written the song Everlasting Love. They also produced and arranged the recording by Robert in 1967. His single peaked at #13 on the Hot 100 and #14 on the R&B chart in 1967.
The single did not do well in the UK due to a competing version of the song. The UK group Love Affair quickly recorded a version of the song with a nearly identical arrangement using studio musicians. Their single topped the UK chart in 1968.
Robert had two more singles that only reached #97 on the Hot 100 in 1968 and never reached that chart again. His career fared better in the UK, where the Northern Soul movement helped him reached the UK top ten in 1973. He eventually returned to Nashville and worked at Vanderbilt University as a chemical lab technician and even a chemistry teacher.
Everlasting Love is nearly unique – it is one of only two songs that reached the US Hot 100 top forty in the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, and the nineties.
Carl Carlton recorded a disco version of Everlasting Love. It peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 in 1974, and oldies stations play it relentlessly.
1982 Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet recorded the song as a duet in 1982. They also made a video that followed the two of them through a wedding. Their single peaked at #32 on the Hot 100.
In 1995, Gloria Estefan recorded a solo single version of the song that reached #27 on the Hot 100. They created a video that featured drag queens and used an extended dance mix. Thanks to airplay (and popularity of the song in gay clubs), the extended version reached the top of the US Hot Dance Music chart.
Oh, the other song that hit the top forty in those four decades? It was The Way You Do the Things You Do. That song reached the top forty for The Temptations in 1964 (#11), Rita Coolidge in 1978 (#20), Daryl Hall & John Oates featuring David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks as part of a medley in 1985 (#20), and UB40 in 1990 (#6).
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