Yet more sad news of the passing on of an artist whose work and influence can be rightly said to have touched a vast amount of people in many shapes and forms
Vanity fair has still online a informative 7 page feature/profile on her from Nov 2005
By the mid-1950s, Sylvia Vanderpool, then in her early 20s, thought she was bringing her music career to a close. Having made a few insignificant novelty records as a teenager under the name Little Sylvia, the Harlem-born singer decided to prepare for a more secure career in nursing. Then, on a Hudson River evening cruise, she met Joe Robinson, a forceful and charismatic navy veteran who persuaded her that music was where the money was at. The couple married shortly thereafter...
Ms. Robinson had a successful career as a rhythm and blues singer long before she and her husband, Joe Robinson, formed Sugar Hill Records in the 1970s and went on to serve as the midwives for a musical genre that came to dominate pop music.
She sang with Mickey Baker as part of the duo Mickey & Sylvia in the 1950s and had several hits, including “Love Is Strange,” a No. 1 R&B song in 1957. She also had a solo hit, under the name Sylvia, in the spring of 1973 with her sultry and sexually charged song “Pillow Talk.”
In the late 1960s, Ms. Robinson became one of the few women to produce records in any genre when she and her husband founded All Platinum Records. She played an important role in the career of The Moments, producing their 1970 hit single “Love on a Two-Way Street.”
But she achieved her greatest renown for her decision in 1979 to record the nascent art form known as rapping, which had developed at clubs and dance parties in New York City in the 1970s. She was the mastermind behind the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” the first hip-hop single to become a commercial hit. Some called her “the mother of hip-hop.”