Tuesday, October 25, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Mickey & Sylvia

Artist:Mickey & Sylvia
Song:Love Is Strange
Album:Love Is Strange

The 1956 classic Love Is Strange was the biggest hit for Mickey & Sylvia. Guitarist Mickey Baker was a very busy session musician in the early 50s. He worked with Atlantic Records artists like Ray Charles, Ruth Brown and Big Joe Turner. He also taught guitar to make extra money. Inspired by Les Paul & Mary Ford, he decided to form a duo with one of his students Sylvia Vanderpool. Mickey & Sylvia signed with RCA distributed Groove Records. The story goes that Mickey & Sylvia were opening for Bo Diddley in Washington, DC. Baker heard a guitar riff by Diddley's guitarist Jody Williams and Baker wrote Love Is Strange around that guitar riff. So the songwriting credit is Mickey & Sylvia and Ethel Smith who was Diddley's wife. Diddley recorded Love is Strange first but it was never released. Love Is Strange was the duo's third single. It topped the R&B charts and reached #11 on the pop charts in 1956. It's an all time classic record. They also charted with There Ought To Be A Law. But they only really had the one big hit. This CD covers Mickey & Sylvia's entire late 50s run. They split up in 1959 though they would reunite a couple of times. Sylvia married Joe Robinson and she became a hop hop pioneer as owner of Sugar Hill Records. As a recording artist, Baker went in a jazz direction. Then he moved to France in the early 60s and remained there until his 2012 death. He produced all kinds of French artists including Sylvie Vartan and Ronnie Bird. So Baker was a big part of the 60s French sound that is highly acclaimed today. Here's Mickey & Sylvia performing Love Is Strange on The Steve Allen Show 1956.

No comments:

Post a Comment