Mickey & Sylvia Biography

Mickey Baker (McHouston Baker, 15 October 1925, Louisville, Kentucky, USA) and Sylvia Vanderpool (b. 6 March 1936, New York City, New York, USA). This popular duo began recording together in 1956 and enjoyed an US R&B chart-topper that year with ‘Love Is Strange’, which peaked at number 11 in the US pop chart the following year. This enduring call-and-response song is rightly regarded as a classic of its genre, and later became a minor UK hit when recorded by the Everly Brothers. Mickey and Sylvia had further success with ‘There Oughta Be A Law’ (1957) and, after a brief hiatus as a duo, ‘Baby You’re So Fine’ (1961), but their career together was undermined by commitments elsewhere. Prolific session work for Atlantic Records, Savoy, King and Aladdin earned the former the epithet Mickey ‘Guitar’ Baker, while the latter had made her recording debut with jazz trumpeter Oran ‘Hot Lips’ Page as early as 1950. In 1973, she began recording as Sylvia, and later achieved notable success as an entrepreneur through her ownership of Sugar Hill Records, early champions of the rap/hip-hop scene.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.