The Persuaders are a New York City-based R&B vocal group best known for their gold hit single in the 1970s, "Thin Line Between Love and Hate". It sold over a million copies, topping the Billboard R&B chart, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 29, 1971.
The original members formed the group in New York in 1969 after previously singing with other local groups. They were signed by Atlantic Records in 1971 with an original line-up of Douglas "Smokey" Scott, Willie Holland, James Barnes, and Charles Stodghill. By 1973, and their second album, John Tobias and Thomas Lee Hill had replaced Barnes and Stodghill.
The group stayed with Atco/Atlantic for four years and scored a number of R&B and pop hits, including three R&B Top 10 hits. The Persuaders' sound involved close harmony, Scott's rough but emotive lead vocals and a heavily orchestrated soul and R&B approach, the trademark of the Poindexter brothers, Richard and Bobby, who produced most of the early 1970s hits through their Win Or Lose production company. Bobby Poindexter produced the second album with his wife Jackie Members. The group's later Atco recordings were produced by Phil Hurtt, Tony Bell, and LeBaron Taylor in Philadelphia.
The Persuaders which, by 1973, featured group members, Douglas "Smokey" Scott, Thomas Lee Hill, Joey Coleman, and Richard Gant recorded the original soul versions of songs later covered by other artists, most notably: "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" (from their Atlantic / Atco album of the same name – William Coleman & Richard Gant are featured on this album), made a major hit by Gladys Knight & the Pips; "Some Guys Have All The Luck", covered by Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart and by Maxi Priest; and "Thin Line Between Love and Hate", covered by H-Town and later