Passings: Willie B. Holland, the Last Surviving Original Member of the Persuaders

Willie B. Holland, one of the four original members of The Persuaders, died on Sunday after battling cancer.

The news was announced on the Persuaders Fan Page on Facebook:
It is with great displeasure that we share the loss of a very Special Man to many of us. On Sunday, February 14, 2016, My Father, Willie B Holland, the last original member of the singing group The Persuaders, loss his life battle to Cancer. Although it was short lived and hard fought, he was very strong to his last breath. He crossed over on his own terms, in his home surrounded by his family. His memory will live on in our hearts and through the music that he leaves behind. We would like to thank everyone for their support and condolences during this difficult time. ‪#‎ItsAThinLineBetweenLoveAndHate‬
Holland was singing in a Newport News, VA group, the Majestics, when he was asked to join the new group The Persuaders that was formed by songwriting brothers Richard and Bobby Poindexter. Although the Poindexters didn't perform with the group, they wanted a vehicle for their songs and production and recruited Holland along with Douglas "Smokey" Scott, Jimmy Barnes and Charles Stodghill from New York's The Internationals.

The Persuaders were signed to Atlantic Records who distributed their first album, Thin Line Between Love and Hate, on the group's own Win or Lose label. The title song from the album was a major hit, hitting number 1 on the R&B chart and 15 on the Hot 100. The followup single, Love Gonna Pack Up (and Walk Out), also reached the R&B top ten, hitting number 8.

Their second, self-titled, album, now on the Atlantic subsidiary Atco, produced three singles that only made the 20's on the R&B chart and didn't make the Hot 100. Holland left the group before the recording of their third set.

Holland was asked to return to the group to appear on their 2006 album, the first since the 70's, Made to Be Loved.

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