Sylvester James (September 6, 1948 – December 16, 1988) was an American disco and soul musician, and a gay drag performer. Events 3114 BC - According to the Proleptic Julian calendar the current era in the Maya Long Count Calendar started Year 1948 ( MCMXLVIII) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 755 - An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion Year 1988 ( MCMLXXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar) The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Disco is a Genre of dance-oriented music whose origins are hard to define Soul music is a Music genre that combines Rhythm and blues and Gospel music, originating in the United States. In the English language, gay is an Adjective that in modern usage refers to Homosexuality. A drag queen is a person usually a man who dresses (or "drags" in female clothes and make-up for special occasions and usually because they are performing and entertaining He performed under only his first name, Sylvester. Known for singing in falsetto (despite a rich baritone voice), he is also considered one of the first Hi-NRG artists. The term falsetto (Italian diminutive of falso, false refers to the Vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the Modal voice register and Hi-NRG (High Energy is a type of high-speed Electronic dance music which was popular in Nightclubs in the late 1970s and 1980s His grandmother was the jazz singer Julia Morgan. Sylvester was the first "male diva" of disco.
Sylvester James was born in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles (lɑˈsændʒələs los ˈaŋxeles in Spanish) is the largest City in the state of California and the American West California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. Living in San Francisco in the 1970s, he performed in a musical production called Women of the Blues, then joined a short-lived group of transvestite performance artists called The Cockettes in the early 1970s, his repertoire of Bessie Smith songs in tow. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city This article is about the Decade 1970-1979 For the Year 1970 see 1970. This article deals with the history of the word 'transvestite' The Cockettes were a Psychedelic Drag queen troupe founded by Hibiscus in the late 1960s in San Francisco 's North Beach neighborhood This article is about the Decade 1970-1979 For the Year 1970 see 1970. Bessie Smith (July 9 1892 or April 15 1894&ndash September 26 1937 was an American Blues singer After leaving The Cockettes, Sylvester performed in San Francisco a number of different times as a solo act. One of his most famed shows, entitled Jungle Sin which reprised Sylvester’s greatest Cockette solo songs, took place at the legendary San Francisco supper club Bimbo's and was produced by the notorious Punk Rock impresario David Ferguson in 1972. David Ferguson (born March 11, 1947) is an international outsider-culture Impresario, Activist and Iconoclast. That same year, Sylvester performed at The Temple in San Francisco with a back up group that later became The Pointer Sisters which was also produced by David Ferguson. The Pointer Sisters are an American Grammy Award -winning Pop / R&B recording act from Oakland, California that achieved (Famed transvestite Divine was a member of the group as well. Harris Glenn Milstead ( October 19, 1945 – March 7, 1988) was an actor and singer known by his drag persona Divine. ) Sylvester can be seen in the Cockettes' outrageous short film "Tricia's Wedding", lampooning the wedding of President Nixon's daughter Tricia, and in an eponymous 2002 documentary about the group. Patricia "Tricia" Nixon Cox (born February 21, 1946, in Whittier, California) is the first daughter of the late U Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt in one fashion or another to " Document " reality
In 1972, Sylvester supplied two cuts to Lights Out San Francisco, an album compiled by the KSAN radio station and released on the Blue Thumb label. Blue Thumb Records was an American Record label founded in 1968 by Bob Krasnow, along with former A&M Records executives Tommy In 1973, Sylvester & his Hot Band released two rock-oriented albums on Blue Thumb (their self-titled debut was also known as "Scratch My Flower," due to a gardenia-shaped scratch-and-sniff sticker adhered to the cover). In 1974 Sylvester met Horus Jack Tolsen (Keyboards) together with Sylvester's drummer Amadeo Barrios (drums) and Brother Adrian Barrios (Bass) formed a trio which backed up Sylvester at a nightclub in San Francisco called Cabaret - After Dark. Shortly after Horus was fired, Amadeo brought in new players, Archie White (Keyboards), Angel Reyes (Guitar), Background vocalist Bianca Thorton, Gerry Kirby and another vocalist named Debbie. Archie Cecil Thomas White VC MC (5 October 1890-20 May 1971 was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious Ángel Reyes is a Cuban Violinist In New York City during 1933 Reyes was the principal violinist of the Thirteenth Sound Group of Havana, Gerry Kirby, (born January 18, 1951) is an American singer He was born Gerald Kirby in Portland Oregon, and was a backup This totally took Sylvester into a new musical direction. The band was rockin' and was very funky taking it more in a dance direction before Disco came into view. The band un-officially called themselves The Four A's and had finally thrown in the towel after several attempts to get signed by a major label. in 1975 The Brother's Barrios gave it one last shot before joining The Lenny Willians Band. Sylvester signed a solo act to Fantasy Records in 1977, working with the production talents of legendary Motown producer Harvey Fuqua, who produced his album Stars in 1979. Recording artists David Axelrod The Blackbyrds Dave Brubeck Lenny Bruce Harvey Fuqua, born July 27, 1929 in Louisville Kentucky, is an African-American soul singer Songwriter, Record producer Sylvester later alleged that Fuqua cheated him out of millions of dollars.
Sylvester soon met his frequent collaborator Patrick Cowley. Patrick Joseph Cowley ( October 19, 1950 - November 12, 1982) was a Disco and Hi-NRG dance music composer and recording Cowley's synthesizer and Sylvester's voice proved to be a magical combination, and pushed Sylvester's sound in an increasingly dance-oriented direction; his second solo album, Step II (1978), unleashed two disco classics: "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," and "Dance (Disco Heat)". These two songs charted together on the American dance chart and spent six weeks at #1 on this chart in August and September of 1978. Billboard 's Hot Dance Club Play chart (also known as Club Play Singles, and formerly known as Hot Dance Music/Club Play and Hot Dance/Disco By this time both his live shows and recordings also recognizably featured the back-up vocals of Two Tons O' Fun: future Weather Girls Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes. The Weather Girls are an American Girl group that formed in 1982 Martha Wash (born December 28, 1953, in San Francisco, California, USA is an R&B, soul, house, and club/dance Izora Rhodes Armstead ( July 6, 1942 – September 16, 2004, San Leandro, California, United States) was one 1979 brought three Billboard awards and an appearance in the movie, The Rose, starring Bette Midler. See Billboard (Turkish magazine Billboard is a weekly American Magazine devoted to the Music industry The Rose is a 1979 musical - Drama film which tells the story of a self-destructive 1960s rock star who struggles to cope with Bette Midler (born December 1, 1945) is anAmerican Singer, Actress and Comedian, also known (as her informal stage name as
Moving to Megatone Records in 1982, Sylvester quickly landed a Hi-NRG classic with "Do You Wanna Funk. " He was close friends with other Megatone artists Linda Imperial and Jeanie Tracy. Jeanie Tracy is a female African American R&B, Dance-pop, Hi-NRG and House music singer and actress born in Houston Texas Sylvester was also very close to the legendary Patti LaBelle. Patricia Louise Holte (born May 24 1944) best known as her stage name Patti Labelle, is an American R&B and soul
Later pressure from the label to "butch up" his image would result in him attending meetings in full-on drag. A drag photo shoot, which he staged and presented to label heads as a gag (calling it his "new album cover") would later grace the cover of Immortal after Sylvester died; it was the label's way of paying tribute to his spirit. In 1985, one of his dreams came true as he was summoned to sing back-up for Aretha Franklin on her Who's Zoomin' Who? comeback album. Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25 1942 Franklin has had a total of twenty number-one singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart, two of which became #1 hits on the For the Grey's Anatomy episode see " Who's Zoomin' Who? " Who's Zoomin' Who? is a 1985 Album His sole Warner Bros. album was Mutual Attraction in 1986; a single from the album, "Someone Like You", became Sylvester's second #1 hit on the US dance chart and featured original cover art by Keith Haring. Keith Haring ( May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City
Sylvester died of complications from AIDS in San Francisco on December 16, 1988. Events 755 - An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion Year 1988 ( MCMLXXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar) He was only 40 years old. His good friend Jeanie Tracy took care of Sylvester during his last days.
On September 20, 2004 Sylvester's anthem record, You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. Events 451 - The Battle of Chalons takes place in North Eastern France. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " The Dance Music Hall of Fame was created in 2003 when music industry veteran John Parker ( Robbins Entertainment) thought that something needed to be done to honor A year later, on September 19, 2005, Sylvester himself was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his achievement as an artist. Events 335 - Dalmatius is raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
Sylvester - You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) excerpt
Sylvester With Patrick Cowley - Do You Wanna Funk excerpt