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Sylvia Robinson (1936 - )

Related: American music - Turbo Records - black music

Recordings: Funkanova - Rapper's Delight (1979) - The Sugarhill Gang


Sylvia Robinson (born Sylvia Vanderpool, 6 March 1936 in New York) is a singer, musician and producer.

Her first successful record was the 1956 hit, "Love Is Strange", written by rap forefather Bo Diddley and released as part of the duo Mickey & Sylvia with guitarist Mickey Baker. She married Joe Robinson in 1964 and continued working in the music business, being involved with several more successful releases. As a solo performer and billed as Sylvia she released the single "Pillow Talk" in 1973. The song reached number one on the R&B chart and number three on the pop chart, and is an early example of disco music.

Arguably her most important contribution to the music industry was masterminding the formation of The Sugarhill Gang and the release of their hit, "Rapper's Delight" in 1979, commonly regarded as the first commercially released rap single. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Robinson [Feb 2005]

Sugarhill Records

[...] In 1969, Sylvia resurfaced as the creative partner in husband Joe Robinson's string of New Jersey-based indie labels (All Platinum, Stang, Turbo and Vibration), scoring hits with the Moments (she co-wrote and produced "Love on a Two-Way Street" in 1970), the Whatnauts, Brother to Brother, Linda Jones, Donnie Elbert, Shirley & Company's proto-disco '75 masterpiece "Shame, Shame, Shame" and her own '73 boudoir-soul classic, "Pillow Talk."


On the brink of bankruptcy, the Robinsons formed Sugarhill Records and sealed their place in pop history by recording four songs that continue to shape the future: "Rapper's Delight"-issued in 1979-was the first hit rap record. "The Message" was the first hit rap record to essay socio-political topics. "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" was the first hit rap record to focus on the DJ's scratching'n'cutting skills. And "White Lines" was the first hit rap record to address the subject of drugs. [...]


While the groove for "White Lines" came from "Cavern" by NYC art-funkers Liquid Liquid, Robinson notes that Melle Mel wrote all the lyrics "and I put that rising 'ah ... ah ... ah' thing in [...] Copyright 1997 MTS, Inc., Pulse! Magazine October 1997, Issue Number 164

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