Robert Peapo Bryson was born in 1951 in Greenville, South Carolina. The boy was growing up without a father on his grandfather’s farm. Bryson has a brother and two sisters. As the oldest man in the family, he had to do the tough work on the farm. This experienced helped toughen the boy’s character.
Robert’s mother was a big fan of African American music. When such performers came to town, she always attended their concerts and took the children with her. These artists had a big impact on Peabo’s music preferences.
In 1965, Bryson began performing with a local band Al Freeman & the Upsetters. At that time, he got the pseudonym Peabo, because the manager had a tough time pronouncing Peapo. In 1968, the artist joined another group, Moses Dillard & the Tex-Town Display. During one of the recording sessions, he caught the attention of a Bang Record’s representative, who offered a talented young man a contract. Bryson agreed.
In 1976, Bryson recorded his first LP, Peabo, which was successful on the local level. Eventually, it reached the 48th spot of Top Soul Albums Chart. The talented artist was noticed by the representatives of Capitol Records. In 1977, Peabo signed a contract with the label. The same year, he released a new LP, Reaching for the Sky, which settled on the 11th spot of Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart. A single with the same name came in sixth on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. Many organizers tried to book Peabo Bryson for their private events.