“I Know Myself” Performed By The Sylvers (1972)

January 10, 2011


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Originally,  in 1971 , the four eldest Sylvers siblings made up a group called the Little Angels put together by their Mother, a former opera singer named Shirley Sylvers,  in Memphis Tennessee.  Mrs. Sylvers moved her performing  family  to Watts, California and then  next two eldest in the family, Edmund and Ricky,  joined Olympia, Leon, Charmaine and James and the group name was changed to their surname –  The Sylvers.

As soon as I heard The Sylvers’ first single on the radio, “Fools Paradise”  I rushed out to buy the LP on the Tuesday it was released! Entitled “The Sylvers,” I would play this LP over and over again on my box record player in my bedroom and listen to the fascinating harmonies and complex melodies composed and recorded by the family on this album while looking at their photo on the LP in amazement trying to figure out how their afros stayed fluffed out without falling flat ;-).

After the first three LPs on MGM Pride,  sisters Pat and Angie joined the group soon to be followed by Foster. Eventually  Charmaine, Olympia and Leon stopped performing with the group.  The group took on a new label and a new sound with pop confection hits such as “Boogie Fever” and “High School Dance.”

I think the record label was trying to make The Sylvers into the J5.  But IMHO The Sylvers  should have been left to maintain the musical road they had started out on. Beautiful, melodic R&B songs with awesome harmonies and thought provoking Leon Sylvers lyrics.

Do you prefer the original soulful Sylvers or the later Pop Sylvers best? Tell me why using the comments section below. I really am curious as to what is on your mind.

Musically Yours,

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Filed under:A Family Affair,Co-ed Vocal Groups,MGM/Pride,Pop/R&B,Seventies,The Sylvers

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brother Lou April 3, 2011 at 3:14 am

Funny….I recently found out about the Sylvers too and am amazed at how little I can find out about them. And why they (especially Leon) aren’t better known is a travesty!

I definitely prefer the first two records, some of Foster’s stuff, and a couple from the 76-84 period (“Bizarre”, “New Horizons”, and “Freestyle” come to mind). It’s a shame that they didn’t continue on and have Leon write all of their remaining albums. His music, harmonies and lyrics are really unique! Question is, who’s going to interview Leon Sylvers III and when will someone compile some recordings (BESIDES “Boogie Fever”)?

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2 SonDan April 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Brother Lou I have been waiting and waiting for a suitable compilation or better yet the Sylvers LPS remastered and released on CD.

You and I are not alone in wanting an interview from the uber talented Leon Sylvers III. I understand that Leon was approached by the Concentric TV series “Unsung” but said no although I have no verification of that. I hope in my heart that is not true and that perhaps someday in the near future we will see a Sylvers reunion (albeit without dear “Edmund” — R.I.P.)

What are your favorites Sylvers tunes Brother Lou?

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3 Brother Lou May 24, 2011 at 4:19 am

Favorite Sylvers songs….hmmm….there’s really too many. Right now I’m listening a lot to stuff i’ve found on youtube. Their Verve single from 1971 is really killer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSsnARF3ThU). Also, I bought the Bizarre LP and really love that. The only thing I really don’t like is their record with Giorgio Moroder, which is disappointing, since on paper it sounds like a really great team. Ah well. What about you?

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