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Mickey And Sylvia Top Picture

 
 

If you were on the East Coast and you needed a stellar guitarist for your recording   session, you could have  called on  McHouston (Mickey) Guitar Baker. Had  you needed a   vocalist, you might  have rung the phone of Sylvia Vanderpool.That would be if she wasn't busy singing as "Little Sylvia " for the Hot Lips Page outfit for two Columbia  label recordings  in 1950, or several other  early  1950's record labels. Evidently,they called to each other, and became a prolific singing duo through  the 50's  and  early 60's.  Sylvia   even  had a  #3 solo record in 1973. Mickey And Sylvia started out  on the  Rainbow  label   for three releases, before signing to the RCA  label subsidiary Groove. Their second single for  groove produced their biggest hit, Love Is Strange.  On to another RCA label called   Vik, and then to the parent, RCA. A stop at King records and the King based Willow label,   and you have over 25  singles,  LP's  and EP's, with a small gap in-between. I have   attempted  to feature most of the records  they recorded  through the early  1960's.  I   also am including a few of the initial releases  by Sylvia  while on  her own,  and will  continue   until all the early material is collected. I am not attempting to showcase Mickey's work   both   solo and as part  of other  teams,  as the task  seems to  large.  Mickey and Sylvia   were  a fine recording team,  married in fact,  for a time,  and  had a huge following before   they broke up. Mickey moved to Paris and the duo was done. You can view many records   below, and hear them in glorious mono with Real Audio!

 

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How Long Must I Be True Promo 78
Little Boy Promo 78
 
The first of two records released on the Savoy label that listed the artist as Little Sylvia.   "How Long Must I Be Blue" was backed with "Little Boy" and was released in 1951. Promo copy shown.
 
 
How Long Must I Be Blue 78
Little Boy 78
 
This is the stock copy of the Little Sylvia record on the red and gold Savoy label. It is identical to the promo copy shown previously with the exception of the words "Free Sample Copy" shown on the left side, in the middle, on the labels previously shown.
 
   
How Long Must I Be Blue 45
Little Boy 45
Here is the 45 RPM of the Little Sylvia record. Savoy didn't change their label or logo all that much, so this looks like a typical release for that period. They were not much into pressing records with colored wax until some legitimate reissues appeared about 1961. They used the blue label, and issued some fairly rare sides. I have not seen this one in that reissue group.
   
 
Drive Daddy Drive 78
I Went To Your Wedding 78
 
Here is one of the Jubilee label recordings for Little Sylvia Vanderpool. "Drive Daddy   Drive" is a fine up tempo effort, and it is paired with the original flip, "I Went To Your   Wedding".   This was issued in 1952 and also released on 45RPM.
 
   
 Drive Daddy Drive 78
I Found Somebody To Love 78
Shown is another issue of the record, this time changing the flip to ""I Found Somebody To Love". It's almost impossible to tell which flipside was the first to be paired with Drive Daddy Drive, and this flip seems to show up much less. They tried this "B" side twice, as you will read about below on the next Little Sylvia Jubilee recording. The recording has a similar theme to the plug side, and is uptempo. If it had been issued first, I could see why Jubilee may have wanted a ballad/jump combination, and maybe this flip was too strong and would have competed for spins. Notice the record time has been added to each label.
   
million tears promo 78
This is certainly an early release of "A Million Tears". I say it cautiously since it was released with two different flip sides as detailed below. This is a white label promo and is very unusual in that it has the same song and label on both sides. I do have examples from the late 50's and early 60's on 45 RPM, and it was certainly a standard practice in the later 60's to do the same with a mono and stereo side. For me, this is the earliest example on 78 of a promo with the same song on each side. It made it easy to determine the song to play, and I suppose gave the record extra life since they could theoretically wear down both sides of the record. This was also available as a two sided promo with both of the sides on it.
   
 
A Million Tears 78
Don't Blame My Heart 78
 
There were several releases on Jubilee for Little Sylvia. The 1st had two different flip sides, then this release, which also had two different flipsides - the one shown and also "I Found Somebody To Love" - the same as Jubilee 5093, and lastly a release on Jubilee 5113 that showed Little Sylvia (Vanderpool) as the  artist.  Shown above  is Jubilee record 5100 "A Million Tears" and "Don't Blame My Heart"  on 78. Both sides are ballads, and issued in 1953.
 
 
A Million Tears 45
Don't Blame My Heart 45
 
My copy on 45 RPM has Red Vinyl. You would think if Jubilee could issue a red vinyl 45 at 5100, they could do it four releases later with the Five Sharps!  Click the records for enlarged pictures.
 
 
The Ring 45
Blue Heaven 45
 
Here is the last of the Jubilee issues as Little Sylvia. The 45 RPM is shown above, and on red Vinyl. "The Ring" is backed with "Blue Heaven", which is not the classic song that Fats Domino and many others before him recorded. This was co-written by Sylvia and others. Both sides are ballads, and both have very nice guitar and organ accompaniment. Click on the records for enlargements. Released in 1953.
 
 
Fine Love 78
Speedy Life 78
 
A Stop-over at the Atlantic subsidiary Cat records, with "Fine Love" and Speedy Life". This   would be her only release for the label before changing again. As you can see on the label,   she picked up Mickey Baker, and from here on out they were a duo. As the story goes,   about  this time, Mickey Baker taught Sylvia how to play the guitar. That would come in handy  in a couple releases from now.
 
 
Fine Love 45
Speedy Life 45
 
Here is the maroon 45 RPM version. As with all Cat releases, they were pressed on 45 and 78. For an in-depth look at the Cat label, go HERE.
 
 
I'm So Glad 78
Se De Boom Run Dun 78
 
Label hopping again!  This time  it is Eddie Heller's Rainbow records of New York. This is   the  first of three records released in 1955. The 78 version of "I'm So Glad" and the flip "See   De Boom Run Dun". A decent two sider for the duo released in 1955. Anybody heard the Rainbow  issue right before them by the artist Cousin Snorkel?
 
 
I'm So Glad 45
See De Boom Run Dun 45
 
Here is the Rainbow release on 45RPM. The 45 is clearly marked as such, yet the other   rainbow 78's do not show the 78 RPM markings. The 45 also does not have the Rainbow   Recording Company on the top, as the 78 does.
 
 
Forever And A Day 78
Rise Sally Rise 78
 
Mickey And Sylvia's second release for Rainbow apparently was the very next record   number issued, as their was no record number 317. "Forever And A Day" backed with "Rise   Sally Rise". Shown is the yellow Rainbow label 78. Seems difficult to have a hit when  records  are released back to back.
 
 
Forever And A Day 45
Rise Sally Rise 45
 
This is the 45 issue on Rainbow. The same yellow color as the 78. Rainbow records was   responsible for some great group sides including Lee Andrews and the Hearts.
 
 
Where Is My Honey 45
Seems Just Like Yesterday 45
 
This is the last Mickey And Sylvia Rainbow issue, " Where Is My Honey" and "Seems Like   Just  Yesterday". Another good outing, but the sales didn't add up. It was time to move on   again.
 
 
No Good Lover 78
Walkin In The Rain 78
 
Mickey And Sylvia jumped to the Groove label for two more recordings. Groove was a   subsidiary of RCA records. RCA was trying to cash in on the R+B and vocal group market.   "No Good Lover" is a great up tempo with some great guitar work. "Walkin In The Rain" is   the  flip. Pictured is the 78.
 
 
No Good Lover 45
Walkin In The Rain 45
 
The 45 version of the distinctive green and black Groove label. Notice that both songs were  written by Mickey and Sylvia.
 
 
Love Is Strange 78
I'm Goin Home 78
 
Here is the biggest hit of their careers. "Love Is Strange" backed with "I'm Going Home".   The record went to #1 on the national R+B charts for two weeks. The call and response worked well and grabbed everyone's attention in 1956.
 
 
Love Is Strange 45
I'm Going Home 45
 
And the 45 RPM release. Neither side was written by the duo this time, but they seemed to   have the hit formula now. The song was revived in the 1990 movie Dirty Dancing.
 
 
Mickey And Sylvia Groove EP Cover
Mickey And Sylvia Groove EP Label
 
RCA's Groove label released an EP shortly after the success of "Love Is Strange", that   included the 4 sides released on Groove. Groove actually released several EP's by other Groove artists of the time.
 
 
Love Is Strange Canadain 78
I'm Going Home Canadian 78
 
The next label change was not as drastic. They were moved to Vik, another subsidiary of   RCA.Vik's lineup included many pop artists and a few doo wop groups. They must have felt   that Mickey And Sylvia would get better exposure then keeping them with the blues and   R+B  sounds of Groove. Here is the first Vik label release #252. This is a Canadian 78 of their hit "Love Is Strange" with the same flip "I'm Going Home"
 
 
Love Is Strange Canadian 45
I'm Going Home Canadian 45
 
This is the Canadian 45 of the same record. Seems the same take of both sides was used on the Vik release. Maybe they hoped to revive the song with a new label and a slightly later release date.
 
 
There Oughta Be A Law
Dearest 78
 
Next up is "There Oughta To Be A Law" backed with "Dearest". This was their next biggest  hit in their joint careers. Hitting both the pop and r+b charts, this record strengthened   their  position as one of the best duos of the decade. Release date for this 78 was 1957.
 
 
There Oughta Be A Law 45
Dearest 45
 
Here is the more common 45 issue of their hit. Notice the colorful US Vik label that was used for most releases. They were on a roll and even the flip side made an appearance on the  pop charts.
 
 
Mickey And Sylvia Vik EP Cover
Mickey And Sylvia Vik EP Label
 
Their first and only EP on Vik was released about this time in 1957 and included the above two    sides along with a couple they previously recorded for rainbow records.
 
 
Love Will Make You Fail In School 45
Two Shadows On Your Window 45
 
"Love Will Make You Fail In School" was the immediate follow-up, and was backed with   "Two  Shadows On Your Window". Release number 0280, it did not chart but had good reaction and still sold.
 
 
Love Will Make You Faiul In School Canadian Promo 45
Two Shadows On Your Window Canadian Promo 45
 
Although my intent is not to show all the Canadian releases, this was too good to pass up. Not only Is it the Canadian Vik label, but it's a promo to boot. They used the same record number as the USA Vik, and the rest of the information is the same.
 
 
Love Is A Treasure 78
Let's Have A Picnic 78
 
The next release was "Love Is A Treasure" with "Let's Have A Picnic" on the backside. A   nice two sider. Shown is the 78 release from 1957.
 
 
Love Is A Treasure 45
Let's Have A Picnic 45
 
This is the 45 RPM release of the same record. Again, no national chart action, but sales   were good and RCA wisely stayed with Mickey And Sylvia because of their popularity and sales.
 
   
There'll Be No Backing Out 78
Where Is My Honey 78
"They'll Be No Backing Out" was next in line. On the flip, "Where Is My Honey" . Notice the   reference to the Vik album "New Sounds".
   
 
There'll Be No Backing Out 45
Where Is My Honey 45
 
Here is the 45 RPM.
 
 
Mickey And Sylvia Vik LP Cover
Mickey And Sylvia Vik LP Label
 
This is their first LP release called New Sounds on Vik 1102. The tracks included two rainbow cuts, two from Vik and the other eight making an appearance for the first time on vinyl.
 
 
Rock And Stroll Room 78
Bewildered 78
 
Back to the singles and another pop chart entry with "Bewildered". The flip is "Rock And   Stroll Room". This is another really good two sider from Mickey And Sylvia. This was released in 1958.
 
   
Bewildered 45
Rock And Stroll Room 45
The 45 RPM version of "Bewildered" and "The Rock And Stroll Room". Notice that Leiber and Stoller are producers on both sides of this record. It is the only Vik release they are mentioned on.
   
True True Love 45
It's You I Love 45
Wrapping up their releases on Vik was "True True Love" and "It's You I Love". Although it   finished their Vik label output, they would now change labels again!
   
To The Valley 45
Oh Yeah Uh Huh 45
Since they recorded on some of RCA's subsidiaries, why not record for RCA? Done! Their   first release was "To The Valley" and "Oh Yeah Uh Huh". No real chart action nationally,  but a nice record. Released in 1958.
   
Sweeter As The Day GoesBby 45
Mommy Out De Light 45
Up next was "Sweeter As The Day Goes By" and "Mommy Out De Light". Sammy Lowe is  conducting the orchestra on most of the RCA releases.
   
Sweeter As The Day Goes By 45 Stereo
Mommy Out De Light 45 Stereo
One of just two RCA releases that were also issued in stereo. The other was their next release on RCA 7811. This record shown above was released in 1960.
   
What Would I Do 45
This Is My Story 45
"What Would I Do" and "This Is My Story" was next for Mickey And Sylvia. Both sides   charted on the National Pop Charts. Another good two sider that showed their ability to make strong records and still hit the charts.
   
Love Lesson Compact 33
Love Is The Only Thing Compact 33
"Love Lesson" and "Love Is The Only Thing" definitely had a theme. It was also the only compact 33 that RCA issued with Mickey And Sylvia.
   
Love Lesson 45
Love Is The Only Thing 45
Here is the record pairing again, this time on a standard release for RCA. Mickey Baker conducts the orchestra on one side of this one.
   
Baby You're So Fine 45
Lovedrops 45
Time for another label change, but this time with a twist. Mickey and Sylvia decided to form  their own record company, Willow records. Their first outing resulted in "Baby   You're  So Fine" and "Lovedrops". Both sides made the pop top 100 billboard charts.
   
Darling I Miss You So 45
I'm Guilty 45
"Darling I Miss You" was the follow-up record on Willow, given the usual Mickey and Sylvia   treatment. The song was recorded by several artists including Lillian Offitt on Excello as Miss You So. The flip was "I'm Guilty".
   
Since I Fell For You 45
He Gave Me Everything 45
They started to fall back to the standards and recorded Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell   For  You". The flip was the Ike Turner penned "He Gave Me Everything". A musical   connection will be shown with Ike and Tina Turner later.
   
Love Is Strange 45
Walking In The Rain 45
Speaking of standards, their last release was their own standard, "Love Is Strange". It   appears to be the same as the groove label take, but with overdubs on vocals. The Flip was   done on Groove as well and called "Walking In The Rain".
   
Let's Shake Some More 45 Promo
Gypsy 45 Promo
Back to RCA with "Let's Shake Some More" written by Leonard Lee of Shirley And Lee fame, flipped with   "The Gypsy". Joe Rene is now producing. Curiously, this was released 4 years after the last RCA issue, in 1965
   
Let's Shake Some More 45
Gypsy 45
Here is the stock copy. "Let's Shake Some More" is well marked with the big star signaling the plug side.
   
From The Beginning Of Time 45 promo
Fallin In Love 45 Promo
The last release for the RCA label, "From The Beginning Of Time" and "Fallin In Love".   This was also released in 1965.
   
Love Is Strange Promo 45
Darling I Miss You So Promo 45
There was one last release from Mickey And Sylvia utilizing their Willow label distributor,   King records. Another try at the same Willow label take "Love Is Strange" flipped with   the   same recording from Willow 23002 "Darling I Miss You". Released in 1965
   
Love Is Strange 45
Darling I Miss You So 45
This is the stock copy of the 1965 release. King records had long since adopted the High Fidelity statement, starting about 10 years earlier. In the promo, it was dropped to indicate promotional copy,
   
Little Sylvia Little Boy Savoy Promo
Ray O Vacs Promo
Here's one that qualifies for an odd record. This disc was originally released on Savoy in   1951  (pictured back at the start of the page), and was then re-released in 1960 on Sharp   #103. It is the exact same take of the great up tempo tune.Sharp just happened to be a   subsidiary of Savoy records. Sharp started as a gospel label, and then introduced the 100   series for pop and some R+B. The promo shows Free Sample on the middle right, and is    black and white.  The flip of  this record is by  the Ray O Vacs.  Listen to "Little Boy"   again,  or if you missed it the first time.
   
Ray O Vacs
Little Sylvia Little Boy Savoy
This is the stock copy of the odd pairing. Notice the label is listed as "Popular". This   normally indicates a series. Jazz, Gospel, Country Western, are just a few types of series   that other labels had.
   
Ike And Tine Turner 1
Ike And Tine Turner 2
Mickey and Sylvia played on Ike and Tina Turner's "It's Gonna Work Out Fine". Above are   two different label variations on this 1961 Sue records release.
   
RCA LP Cover Mono
RCA LP Label Mono
RCA Camden released an LP of the Mickey and Sylvia material in 1965, after the hits had   come. Ten cuts on a long overdue LP. Interestingly, the liner notes say the LP is released at "The Height Of Their Success".
   
RCA LP Mono Label
RCA LP Stereo Cover
The RCA Camden LP was also issued in stereo. A combination of Groove, Vik and RCA sides were included.
   
1973 LP Cover
1973 LP Label
Although released a bit past the scope of this profile, in 1973 RCA released an LP entitled   Mickey And Sylvia Do It Again". This included 12 cuts from the RCA family  including a    few originally  unreleased sides.  On the strength of the 1973 album release, RCA   reissued  Love Is Strange, and the duo, now recording on Stang records, issued Baby You're So Fine (Not Pictured).
 
Gone Missing: All Mickey and Sylvia issues are accounted for in one form or the other,through 1965. Needed are the US Vik 45 of Love Is Strange, Assorted 78's that are not   pictured for Rainbow, Vik and RCA, and a few Sylvia solo records including the two done with the Hot Lips Page orchestra on Columbia in 1950.