Album:Intimate Portrait: Women With Soul
Pillow Talk may seem like a fluke one hit wonder. But there is much more to Sylvia Robinson than one song. And Pillow Talk paved the way towards more explicit content in black music. Sylvia was born Mar. 6, 1936 in New York City. Until Pillow Talk, she was best known as one half of Mickey & Sylvia and the 1956 smash hit Love Is Strange. They split up in 1959 and Sylvia married Joe Robinson. She recorded as Sylvia Robbins and then reunited with Mickey Baker until he moved to France in 1964. Then the Robinsons moved to New Jersey and started All Platinum Records. The label's biggest success was The Moments' Love On A Two Way Street and Shirley & Company's Shame, Shame, Shame. Sylvia co-wrote both songs. She wrote Pillow Talk with Michael Burton for Al Green. But Green thought it was too explicit so Sylvia recorded it. I'm sure no one was more surprised than Sylvia when Pillow Talk reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973. Because there was no album at the time. But they did record a Pillow Talk album but they rushed it so it's not very good. It is available on CD but instead I suggest this various artists budget CD released by Rhino as a companion to the Lifetime series Intimate Portrait. And if you don't think Pillow Talk was influential, remember Love To Love You Baby by Donna Summer was a huge hit in 1975. Would that have even been recorded without the success of Pillow Talk? Sylvia went on to form Sugar Hill Records and helped give birth to rap music with The Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster Flash. And until her death on Sept. 29, 2011 at age 75, Sylvia Robinson continued to develop new acts. Producer Paula Wagner recently announced plans for a Sylvia Robinson biopic with Joe and Sylvia's son Joey Robinson to co-produce. Here's Sylvia performing Pillow Talk on Soul Train 1973.