Thursday, May 12, 2016


Forty years ago this week, The Sylvers were riding the top of the charts with "Boogie Fever". This family act originally from Memphis had found modest success as performers before this breakthrough took them to number one on both the pop and r&b charts.

There were a total of ten Sylvers children with nine of them part of the singing group at various points in their musical career. The four oldest children (Olympia, Leon, Charmaine, and James) began as a singing group called "The Little Angels" and performed on television and opened for several soul acts. A few years later, younger brothers, Edmund and Ricky joined the group and then became known as "The Sylvers". They released their self-titled debut album in 1972 with two singles, "Fool's Paradise" and "Wish I Could Talk To You" reaching the top-twenty on the r&b chart. The following year, the youngest member in the act, Foster had a hit solo single, "Misdemeanor" (written by Leon) that reached number seven on the U.S. soul chart.

By 1975, sisters, Angie and Pat became part of the group before The Sylvers signed to a major label, Capitol Records. The family was teamed-up with producer Freddie Perren (who had worked with another famous family act, The Jackson 5) and helped take them to the next level. Their fourth album, "Showcase" featured "Boogie Fever" and that single went on to sell over two million copies.

Charmaine decided to leave the group before the release of the follow-up album, "Something Special" in 1976. Also produced by Perren, the album featured two more hits, "Hot Line" and "High School Dance".

Wanting to take control over their music and feature a more mature sound, The Sylvers wrote and produced their next album, "New Horizons" in 1977.  This failed to reach the level of popularity of their previous efforts and while the group went on to create some critically-acclaimed records, they were never able to recapture the magic of their past success. The Sylvers came to an official end in 1985 after their final album, "Bizarre" failed to find an audience.

Let's go back and watch The Sylvers perform their hit live on The Midnight Special:


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