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First Choice

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First Choice is a three-piece disco girl group, similar to The Three Degrees but more sassy, with Rochelle Fleming on lead. “I got something for your mind, your body & your soul”/ “It’s Not Over” are probably their most sampled lines (from the perennial “Let No Man Put Asunder”).

Originally signed to Philly Groove Records via a production contract with Norman Harris, the group came with Harris when he signed onboard the newly formed Salsoul. Most of Harris’ work would be issued on the Gold Mind subsidiary of Salsoul - First Choice were no exception. The bulk of the group’s offerings came from the stable of Baker/Harris/Young, but other producers and mixers would feature prominently, such as Tee Scott and Tom Moulton (whose mix of “Dr. Love” is the all-time favorite of Salsoul Label head Ken Cayre). “Let No Man Put Asunder” would not reach it’s penultimate destination in every urban DJ’s front crate until Shep Pettibone re-worked it inthe early 1980’s. The group had recorded a Southern Soul styled version of Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” for their sole Philly Groove album, where it sat alongside the major hit “Armed and Extremely Dangerous” and the minor hit “Smarty Pants”. Salsould would eventually re-mix and re-issue all three tracks in various incarnations, leading to the misconception that they were vintage Salsoul cuts. In fact, they were vintage Baker/Harris/Young productions that preceded Salsoul and were acquire by the label after the fact.

Lead vocalist Rochelle Fleming enjoys a reputation as one of the legendary disco divas, and still lends vocals to the occassional one-off house track, such as Tom De Novy’s “Summer Love”.

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