The Nylons Biography

Formed in Toronto, Canada, in 1978, the Nylons’ original line-up comprised four erstwhile actors: Paul Cooper (tenor), Marc Connors (d. March 1991, baritone), Dennis Simpson (bass) and Claude Morrison (tenor), although Simpson was quickly replaced by Ralph Cole who in turn was replaced by Arnold Robinson (Wilmington, North Carolina, USA). The latter had spent several years in Sonny Turner’s Platters (aka Sounds Unlimited). Originally harmonizing a cappella, their material was one third original, one third classic doo-wop and one third contemporary pop covers. Their 1982 debut album featured bare rhythmic accompaniment underpinning the group’s elegant harmonies. One Size Fits All housed the single ‘Silhouettes’, which gained a number of plays on mainstream US radio. The Tokens’ ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ and Steam’s ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’ were reprised on Seamless and Happy Together, respectively, and again sold well in their domestic market, while the latter single also breached the US charts at number 12 in 1987. Their version of the Turtles’ ‘Happy Together’ (which gave their fourth album its title), peaked at number 75 in the US charts. Paul Cooper departed in 1991 to be replaced by Micah Barnes, but by the following year Marc Connors had died from viral pneumonia, prompting a further line-up shuffle, with Billy Newton-Davis stepping into the breach. A new recording contract with BMG in Canada and Scotti Bros in the USA ensued before further line-up changes brought in Garth Mosbaugh for Barnes and Gavin Hope for Newton-Davis in 1994, and Mark Cassius for Hope three years later. Despite the personnel changes, the Nylons remain a highly popular touring unit worldwide.

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

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