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Sylvia

Going strictly by the chart book, Sylvia Robinson was a one-hit wonder, hitting number three pop (and number one R&B) with her 1973 single "Pillow Talk," a slice of proto-disco bedroom funk. Few other one-hit wonders, however, had a career as multi-dimensional. For one thing, she was actually no stranger to the hit parade when "Pillow Talk" started to catch on. In the '50s, she'd been one-half of the rock & roll duo Mickey & Sylvia, remembered for eternity for their classic "Love Is Strange." As a one-named solo artist 15 years later, Sylvia would help lay the ground for disco, urban contemporary, and even rap with her cooing whispers and orgasmic sighs. Murmuring about romantic love with a seductive come-on that was pretty bawdy by early-'70s standards, she was the yin to Barry White's yang, if you will, offering a kinder, gentler brand of between-the-sheets soul from a feminine viewpoint. Unlike many of the singers who would follow a similar path, Sylvia was no producer's tool: she played guitar and co-wrote and co-produced most of her material, which was released on a record company run by her and her husband Joe. In the late '70s and early '80s, she would play a crucial role in the birth of rap as the co-founder of Sugar Hill Records. She was credited as the producer of many of the label's releases.

"Pillow Talk" began life as a song that Sylvia hoped to pitch to Al Green. After nothing came of that plan, she issued it herself on the Vibration label, an imprint of the All Platinum company that she had founded with her husband in the late '60s in New Jersey. It would be her only major pop crossover hit, but she did have a handful of small R&B hits in the mid-'70s in a similar vein, her hushed sexy whispers backed by laconic funk-c*m-disco grooves and occasional strings. Not nearly as risqué as Millie Jackson, this was nonetheless fairly forthright stuff for its era; when she pushed it to the limit, it could have passed for some of the milder routines on phone-sex lines. In this sense, she could be considered as a precursor not only to rap, but to R&B performers like Prince, who would make plainly stated lust a centerpiece of their compositions. While her Sugar Hill activities took most of her time by the '80s, she still found some time for recording, making the middle of the R&B charts again with a rap tune, "It's Good to Be the Queen." She passed away in 2011, at the age of 75. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Comments

tamyabonet2
She's definitely not a one hit wonder that's for sure, this is the godmother of hip hop and all her bedroom funky songs were hits
tamyabonet2
This is definitely what I called baby making music, all those other artist that claim the sing thing aint got nothing on her, heck this is an aphrodisiac
tamyabonet2
What's up with Similar Artists

Sylvia (Country)
Crystal Gayle
Rosanne Cash
Lorrie Morgan
Tanya Tucker???? Really? she wasn't country. Pandora's got it wrong
BABY THIS SONG GETS ME IN THE MO BABY
Baby making ish right here!
The supreme standard of that era-good times indeed.
Very sexy and classy music to help put you in the mood! Nice...
Wow, I had no idea how versatile she was!!!!!
Pillow talk was hit in 1973 and it sounds just as good today. Her seductive style hasn't been duplicted, I've been looking for this song for a long time, thanks pandora
Nice tune!!!
mamahas4boys
yes they are confused so much so
They both can get from Twinzo!
rtdugan04
Two different Sylvias. Pandora is confused.
hooptricks
Hey you guys need to get snapshot by sylvia please!! thanks
my first intro to the call of the wild; if you get my drift every fellow i know scratched it because of they just plain wore it out.
caras-amanda
I was expecting to read about Sylvia country singer from late 70's early 80's? But the link took me to Sylvia Robinson.
I like both Sylvias,but my station seems to be playing me all "Tumbleweed" songs.I supose it could be randomness,b u t maybe I can make a "Pillow Talk" station...ye s that works.
sassyjan
That's right jimwanda7. It was a hit.
Now I remember. "Nobody" was a bit of a hit,not by Sylvia Robinson.
Yes,they each need their oun station.and yet it gives us something to talk about.
sassyjan
Definately two different people.
It looks like two different Sylvias on this station. "Sylvia Barry" is the female Barry White."Sylvi a Tumbleweed" is a singing cow girl. Is it two people, or two facets of one artist?
- Jimmy O
sassyjan
Please look at your biography of Sylvia. The girl pictured on the first album "Pillow talk" and the bio does NOT belong to the girl singing on "Cry Just A Little Bit" Thanks

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