In Memoriam: Robert Knight (1945 – 2017)

Robert Knight (born Robert Peebles, April 24, 1945 – November 5, 2017) was an American singer best known for the 1967 recording of the song “Everlasting Love”. Born in Franklin, Tennessee, Knight made his professional vocal debut with the Paramounts, a quintet consisting of school friends. Signed to Dot Records in 1960, they recorded “Free Me” in 1961, a US R&B hit single that outsold a rival version by Johnny Preston.

After this initial success, their subsequent releases flopped, resulting in a breakup of the group. They also broke their recording contract with Dot and were prevented from recording for  4 1⁄2 years. Knight attended Tennessee State University, where he studied chemistry and sang with the Fairlanes, a vocal trio.

In 1967, after Knight was seen performing with the Fairlanes in Nashville at a Vanderbilt University fraternity, he was offered a contract as a solo artist by the Rising Sons label. His first recording, “Everlasting Love”, written by label owners Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden, was a success, reaching number 14 on the US R&B chart and 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. This enduring song was an even bigger success in the UK the following year when a version by Love Affair reached No. 1, ironically preventing Knight’s version from progressing further than No. 40.

Knight scored two further pop hits at home, “Blessed Are The Lonely” and “Isn’t It Lonely Together”. In 1973/1974, thanks to heavy rotation by Northern soul music admiring deejays he hit the UK Singles Chart again with the re-issue of his late 1968 recording “Love on a Mountain Top”, reaching #10 in early 1974 in the UK Singles Charts. The song was also written by Cason and Gayden. The re-issued “Everlasting Love” went even higher in the UK in 1974, reaching the Top 20. His final UK chart record was “Better Get Ready For Love” which reached #53 in May 1974.

He also worked for Vanderbilt University as a chemical lab technician, a chemistry teacher, and a member of the grounds crew.

Knight died at home in Tennessee, aged 72.  – Wikipedia

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