Monday Open Thread | Classic Soul Train Week

This week we’re featuring artists from classic Soul Train performances.

“Sylvia” Robinson

Sylvia Robinson (née Vanterpool; May 29, 1935 – September 29, 2011) was an American singer, musician, record producer, and record label executive. Robinson was best known for her work as founder/CEO of the hip hop label Sugar Hill Records. Robinson is credited as the driving force behind two landmark singles in the genre; “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) by the Sugarhill Gang,[8] and “The Message” (1982) by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five; which caused her to be dubbed “The Mother of Hip–Hop”. Robinson received a Pioneer Award for her career in singing and being the founder of Sugarhill Records at the 11th Annual Rhythm and Blues Awards Gala in 2000.[9] Robinson died of congestive heart failure on September 29, 2011 at age 76.

In 1954, she began teaming up with Kentucky guitarist Mickey Baker, who then taught her how to play guitar. In 1956, the duo now known as Mickey & Sylvia, recorded the Bo Diddley and Jody Williams-penned rock single, “Love Is Strange,” which topped the R&B charts and reached number eleven on the Billboard pop charts in early 1957. After several more releases including the modestly successful “There Oughta Be a Law”, Mickey & Sylvia split up in 1959 and she later married Joseph Robinson. Sylvia restarted her solo career shortly after her initial split from Baker, first under the name Sylvia Robbins. In 1961, the duo reunited and recorded more songs together for various labels including their own Willow Records distributed by King Records of Cincinnati. They are most noted during this period for singing background on Ike & Tina Turner’s hit single, “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”. In 1964, frustrated with the music business, Baker moved to Paris.

In 1966, the Robinsons moved to New Jersey where they formed a soul music label, All Platinum Records, the following year, with artist Lezli Valentine, formerly of the Jaynettes, bringing the label its first hit with “I Won’t Do Anything”. In 1968, the duo signed a Washington, D.C. act named The Moments, who immediately found success with “Not on the Outside”. Within a couple of years and with a new lineup, the group scored their biggest hit with “Love on a Two-Way Street”(1970), which Sylvia co-wrote and produced with Bert Keyes and (uncredited) lyrics by Lezli Valentine. Other hits on the label and its subsidiaries, including Stang and Vibration, included Shirley & Company’s “Shame, Shame, Shame” (1975), The Moments’ “Sexy Mama” and “Look at Me (I’m in Love)”, and the Whatnauts/Moments collaboration, “Girls”. Robinson co-wrote and produced many of the tracks, although later she was supported by two members of The Moments, Al Goodman and Harry Ray, as well as locally based producers, George Kerr and Nate Edmonds.

“Pillow Talk”

Solo career

In 1972, Robinson sent a demo of a song she had written called “Pillow Talk” to Al Green. When Green passed on it due to his religious beliefs,[14] Robinson decided to record it herself, returning to her own musical career. Billed simply as Sylvia, the record became a major hit, reaching number-one on the R&B chart and crossing over to reach Billboard Hot 100 (#3), while also reaching #14 in the UK at the beginning of 1973. She was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in May 1973.[14] “Pillow Talk”‘s subtly orgasmic gasps and moans predated those of “Love to Love You Baby” by Donna Summer. Robinson recorded four solo albums on the Vibration subsidiary[15] and had other R&B hits including “Sweet Stuff” and “Pussy Cat”. “Pillow Talk”[16] was a soulful medium dance number.

Sugar Hill Records

In the 1970s, the Robinsons founded Sugar Hill Records. The company was named after the culturally rich Sugar Hill area of Harlem, an affluent African American neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City, known as a hub for artists and performers in the early and mid-1900s.[17][18] The song “Rapper’s Delight”(1979), performed by The Sugar Hill Gang, brought rap into the public music arena and revolutionized the music industry by introducing rap, scratch, and breakdance. Later acts signed to Sugar Hill Records included all-female rap/funk group The Sequence, featuring a teenage Angie Stone (recording as “Angie B”), who had a million-selling hit in early 1980 with “Funk U Up”. Sugar Hill folded in 1985, due to changes in the music industry, the competition of other hip-hop labels, such as Profile and Def Jam and also financial pressures. Robinson, who had by now divorced Joe Robinson, continued her efforts as a music executive, forming Bon Ami Records in 1987. The label was noted for signing the act The New Style, who later left and found success as Naughty by Nature.

Robinson was married to businessman Joseph Robinson Sr. (1932–2000) from May 1959 until his death in 2000. Together they had three children, sons Joseph “Joey” Robinson Jr. (1962–2015),[2 Leland Robinson (b. 1965 or 1966) and Rhondo “Scutchie” Robinson (1970–2014). Robinson owned a bar in Harlem, New York named “Joey’s Place” after her husband in the 1960s.[24] Robinson also owned another New York bar and nightclub named the Blue Morocco during the mid–1960s.

Death and future biopic

Robinson died on the morning of September 29, 2011, aged 76, at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey from congestive heart failure. On August 19, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter reported that producer Paula Wagner had acquired the rights to the life story of Sylvia Robinson, the influential rap pioneer and producer known as the “Mother of Hip-Hop.” Wagner acquired the rights from Robinson’s son, Joey Robinson (now deceased), who was scheduled to executive produce and serve as a consultant on the project along with rapper Grandmaster Melle Mel. Music executive Robert Kraft will co-produce the film along with Stephanie Allain. The film will cover Sylvia Robinson’s four-decade career in the music business, her turbulent love life and the mark she made on popular culture at a defining moment in the evolution of hip-hop.

In a statement, Wagner says Robinson’s life story has all the elements of a great film, “It is not only the story of female empowerment at a time when the world of music was male-dominated, but it’s also a story of the origin of hip-hop and how this woman’s determination, immense talent and savvy business sense fostered an entire musical movement.” Joey Robinson said of his mother and father, Sugar Hill Records co-founders, and of the upcoming film, “This movie is going to show how my parents were able to remain independent, keep control of their publishing and master recordings and how they later dealt with the major record labels and mob associates. Sugar Hill paved the way for a new genre of music that the industry had no knowledge of back in 1979. You will see the struggles of what Sugar Hill went through to keep hip-hop music alive when the industry wanted to bury it.”On October 21, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Warner Bros. had picked up the untitled Sylvia Robinson story, and that Malcolm Spellman and Carlito Rodriguez – the writers on the hit Fox TV show, Empire – had been tapped to tell the story of Sylvia Robinson and Sugar Hill Records

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26 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Classic Soul Train Week

  1. He’s testing the waters to see how folks will react to this bullshit. Mafia thug mofo!

  2. THESE #TERRORIST THUGS—–>drone operators say they mistook the Baker boys for Hamas militants. 10 & 11 year old boys? Lying mofos blew up little boys.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Who is this ‘WE’?
    I am very clear on his guilt.


    We Know Trump Is Guilty. We’re Having a Hard Time Admitting It
    By Josh Marshall

    The greatest conceit in public life today is the notion that we don’t already know President Trump is guilty. Guilty of what? Conspiring, by whatever level of directness, with a foreign power to win the Presidency and then continuing to cater to that foreign power either as payback for the assistance or out of fear of being exposed. In other words, collusion, a national betrayal that may break some statute laws but which far transcends them and isn’t in the past but is rather on-going.

    It’s true that as a matter of courtroom, reasonable doubt legal proof we don’t yet know this. Or at least, we in the public don’t have all the necessary evidence. It’s possible that critical details are in the hands of the Special Counsel’s office or somewhere in the Intelligence apparatus. But that’s not really the point. These aren’t questions of criminal law. They might become questions of criminal law. But they’re not there yet. They are now simply political questions, meant in the sense that the country must make decisions about President Trump’s conduct and and whether he can be trusted with the truly vast powers of the Presidency.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Read the files released today by NARA due to our #FOIA suit here (today’s part starts at row 103)

    Read Kavanaugh’s DOJ files, all from his time as staff secretary, which we weren’t supposed to see, which we obtained anyway, here

    — Fix the Court (@FixTheCourt) August 20, 2018

  5. rikyrah says:

    Brian Kemp’s Bid for Governor Depends on Erasing the Black Vote in Georgia
    It’s working.


    On Thursday evening, the election board of Randolph County, Georgia, met to discuss a startling proposal to eliminate three-fourths of the county’s polling places months before the November election. A rural, impoverished, and predominantly black county, Randolph has just nine polling locations, all of which were open during the May primaries and July runoffs. The election board may soon shut down seven of them, including one in a precinct where about 97 percent of voters are black. Its plan would compel residents, many of whom have no car or access to public transit, to travel as much as 30 miles round trip to reach the nearest polling place.

    Because of its history of racist voting laws, Randolph County was once required to seek federal permission before altering its election procedures. But after the Supreme Court gutted this oversight in 2013, the county was freed to crack down on the franchise. It is no coincidence that its election board chose this moment to shutter most of its polls: In November, the popular Democrat Stacey Abrams will compete for the governorship against Republican Brian Kemp, the current Georgia secretary of state. Kemp, who has devoted his time in office to a ruthless campaign of voter suppression, called upon Randolph County to abandon the plan when it spurred widespread outrage. That being said, the key figure in the Randolph County controversy is a Kemp ally who was handpicked by the secretary of state to close polls throughout Georgia.

    To understand the brazen attack on black suffrage now occurring in Randolph County, it’s important to remember that Georgia is in the midst of a seismic demographic shift. As whites cease to be the majority in more and more counties, Republicans have clung to power by disenfranchising minority voters. Kemp’s opposition to the Randolph County plan marks the first time that he has adopted an affirmatively pro-suffrage stance. During his nearly eight years as secretary of state, Kemp engaged in mass voter purges, removing hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls. State officials appear to have singled out black voters in targeted purges.

    Kemp also canceled or suspended 35,000 voter registrations using Exact Match, a version of Kris Kobach’s notorious Crosscheck program that compares registrants’ information with motor vehicle and Social Security databases. If a single letter, space, or hyphen did not match the database information, the voter application was rejected. Black voters were eight times more likely than whites to have their registrations halted due to Exact Match.

    Perhaps most egregiously, Kemp launched an investigation into Abrams’ efforts to register more minority voters despite no evidence of fraud. He used the probe to harass and intimidate voting rights advocates. Later, he refused to register 40,000 would-be voters who had signed up through the drive. Speaking to Republicans behind closed doors, Kemp explained the stakes: “Registering all these minority voters that are out there … if they can do that, they can win these elections.” During Kemp’s tenure, Georgia’s population has increased substantially—yet the number of registered voters has actually gone down.

  6. Liza says:

    Does this woman really not get it? She was doing better when she was hiding.

  7. When the driver asks why the cops have their guns drawn one of the officers responds by saying “Because you’re not white.”

  8. The cops had no regard for the life of the infant. To them the baby’s life was worthless. They are demons walking among us.

  9. rikyrah says:

    But, everytime we brought up the Courts in 2016, we were told that we were so ‘naive’, and didn’t ‘ get it’.

  10. Ametia says:

    Brennan says he’s willing to take Trump to court over security clearances
    “I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses,” the former CIA director said.
    By Felicia Sonmez and Carol Morello •

    Read more »

  11. Ametia says:

    Word of the Day : August 20, 2018

    Satiety play noun suh-TYE-uh-tee

    1 : the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity : surfeit, fullness
    2 : the revulsion or disgust caused by overindulgence or excess

  12. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

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