|Also known as||Silver Bird Convention|
|Labels||Jupiter, Durium, Midland International|
|Past members||Jackie Carter (1974-75)|
Linda G. Thompson (1975-76)
Penny McLean (1975-78)
Ramona Wulf (1975-79)
Rhonda Heath (1976-79)
Zenda Jacks (1978-79)
The group was initiated in Munich by producers and songwriters Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze. The group was named after Levay, "Silver" being Levay's nickname. Kunze had in the late 1960s been a pop lyricist who wrote protest songs in German; when these tunes went out of style, he began producing pop records and commercials. Levay had developed a taste for American music while growing up in Yugoslavia, eventually becoming a music arranger and lyricist.
Using female session vocalists Gitta Walther, Lucy Neale, Betsy Allen, Roberta Kelly, and Jackie Carter for their first recordings, they scored a successful single in the United Kingdom in 1975 with the song "Save Me", which peaked at #30. They were only a studio group; Levay and Kunze realized then that they would need to find professional entertainers for presentation to the public. Penny McLean, Ramona Wulf and Linda G. Thompson, three tall and slender performers, became the public face of Silver Convention.
They scored two major US and Canadian hit singles. "Fly, Robin, Fly", of which the complete lyrics consisted of only six different words (Fly, Robin, Up, To, The, Sky), maintained three weeks at #1 in late November and early December 1975, and won the group a Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in December 1975. Initially the song was titled "Run, Rabbit, Run", changed by the writers moments before the recording took place. Their next success "Get Up and Boogie", which also consisted of only six different words (Get, Up, And, Boogie, That's, Right), hit #1 in Canada on June 15, 1976, had 3 weeks at #2 in the U.S in June 1976 and also peaked at #7 in the UK, in May 1976. Their next release, "No No Joe," only scored #60 in September 1976. The further singles released by the trio attempted to duplicate the sound that had made them successful briefly, but they were only minor successes. At this time, Linda G. Thompson left the group and was replaced by New Yorker Rhonda Heath, who was chosen over other hopefuls at an open casting call to become the newest singer for the group.
Michael Kunze wrote the lyrics on the first two albums under the pseudonym Stephan Prager. During this time the three singers released their own solo work. McLean and Thompson achieved hit singles with "Lady Bump" and "1, 2, 3, 4 ... Fire!", and "Ooh What a Night" respectively. Wulf's solo effort was only a moderate success.
Silver Convention represented Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977 with "Telegram", finishing eighth. The entry had only English lyrics (with considerably more words than their past hits), but was allowed to enter in spite of the language rule being reintroduced this year, because the song was chosen to represent Germany before the reintroduction was announced. In 1994, Rhonda Heath returned to Eurovision, providing backing vocals and keyboards for the German entry "Wir Geben 'Ne Party" performed in German by Mekado. This entry did better than Silver Convention's effort, finishing third out of the 25 entries in Dublin.
With a new producer (John Davis), and a revised line-up of singers (Suzie McClosky aka Zenda Jacks, Rhonda Heath and Ramona Wulf), Silver Convention was successful again during 1978 with the album Love in a Sleeper. The 12" single release from the LP was "Spend the Night With Me" backed with "Mission To Venus".
Levay also worked with Giorgio Moroder, and Kunze began work with Jim Steinman. The solo careers of the three singers ended quickly and they left the music industry, since interest in the disco scene was declining during this period. Levay and Kunze later collaborated on the successful Vienna productions of the musicals Elisabeth, Mozart! and Rebecca.
First U.S. Concert for Braniff AirwaysEdit
Silver Convention's first United States Concert was held at Dallas, Texas, in the North Hangar of Braniff International Airways Operations and Maintenance Base at Dallas Love Field Airport on Wednesday evening, February 23, 1977. The group had traveled from Acapulco, Mexico, where they had also performed on February 19, 1977 for Braniff during a special party dubbed Three Evenings To Remember. The airline threw the promotional party to announce its new Ultra Elegance Campaign and debut new air and ground crew uniforms by Haute Couturier Halston. Silver Convention penned a song titled "Ultra Ultra" specifically for Braniff to commemorate the carrier's new inflight service which they performed in Acapulco and at the Dallas concerts. The day after the Love Field concert, the group traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to tape an interview for The Mike Douglas Show.
Cover versions of their songsEdit
American jazz flautist Herbie Mann recorded a cover version of "Fly, Robin, Fly" for his 1976 album, Bird in a Silver Cage, which was co-produced and arranged by Sylvester Levay. The Australian/British string quartet Bond also recorded a version of "Fly, Robin, Fly" for their 2004 album, Classified. In 2003, German lifestyle company Apartment20 produced a version of "Fly, Robin, Fly", which featured Ramona Wulf on lead vocals and in the video for the song.
Silver Convention's hit, "Get Up and Boogie", was re-tooled for a 2009 commercial for the "Snuggie" (sleeved blanket). The song was also covered by American industrial metal band Static-X, and released as a bonus track for the album Cannibal, in 2007.
"Thank You, Mr. DJ", a B-side of the "No, No, Joe" single was sampled by the Australian alternative rock band Regurgitator for the track "The Song Formally Known As" from their second album, Unit.
American alternative rock band the Bloodhound Gang sampled "Get Up and Boogie" for the main riff of their 1996 song "Lift Your Head Up High (And Blow Your Brains Out)", released on their album One Fierce Beer Coaster. The sample was played as is during performances of the song with Lupus Thunder, but Daniel P. Carter replaced it with a live guitar part.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Get Up and Boogie||
|Summernights (AKA Golden Girls)||
|Love in a Sleeper||
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|The Best of Silver Convention||
|The Best of Silver Convention: Get Up and Boogie||
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1975||"Save Me"||33||9||—||8||9||15||—||30||103||1||Save Me|
|"Always Another Girl"||—||29||—||19||—||—||—||—||—||7|
|"Fly, Robin, Fly"||3||3||3||8||8||1||16||28||1||1|
|1976||"Get Up and Boogie"||13||12||1||6||6||22||14||7||2||2||Get Up and Boogie|
|"Tiger Baby"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||41||—||—||Save Me|
|"No, No, Joe"||49||—||74||—||—||27||—||—||60||1||Get Up and Boogie|
|"Everybody's Talking 'Bout Love"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||25||—||—||Madhouse|
|"Dancing in the Aisles (Take Me Higher)"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"A Song About the Boys from Liverpool"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||N/A|
|1978||"Spend the Night with Me"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||10||Love In A Sleeper|
|1979||"Café au Lait"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||N/A|
|"—" denotes the single failed to chart or was not released.|
- "The Silver Convention - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- Vickers, Tom. "Singles: Surprising Takeoff of 'Fly, Robin, Fly.'" Rolling Stone 203 (January 1, 1976), p. 18.
- "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 364. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
- "Albums by Rhonda Heath". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- Upshaw, Larry (March–April 1977). "Silver Convention Rocks On At Concert For Braniff Employees". B-Liner. Vol. 29 no. 2. p. 13.
- Mann, Herbie. Bird in a Silver Cage. iTunes album review. Accessed February 26, 2010.
- Busby, Christy (23 January 2011). "Snuggies options range from hot to cold". Texarkana Gazette. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
- "the AU Interview: Quan Yeomans of Regurgitator (Melbourne / Brisbane)". the AU review. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- "GfK Entertainment Charts > Soçver Convention". offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Peak positions for Canada:
- Save Me (titled as Silver Convention):"Top Albums/CDs - Volume 24, No. 17 January 24, 1976". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). RPM (magazine).
- Get Up and Boogie (titled as Silver Convention):"Top Albums/CDs - Volume 25, No. 12 June 19, 1976". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). RPM (magazine).
- Summernights (titled as Golden Girls):"Top Albums/CDs - Volume 27, No. 20 August 13, 1977". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). RPM (magazine).
- "Norway Charts>>Silver Convention, Penny McLean, Ramona Wulf, Linda G. Thompson - SUCCESS (album)". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 2017-05-20.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). norwegiancharts.com.
- "Sverigetopplistan > Silver Convention Albums". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "ALLMusic Awards>> Silver Convention". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 2013-06-05.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). AllMusic.
- "RIAA certifications for Silver Convention". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "Gold & Platinum – Silver Convention". Music Canada. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- "Sverigetopplistan > Silver Convention Songs". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "OCC > Silver Convention". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1978". Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved 2016-06-16.. ifpihk.org.
- "Ultratop > Sinver Convention Singles". ultratop.be. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- Peak positions for Canada:
- Fly, Robin, Fly: "Top Singles - Volume 24, No. 15 January 10, 1976". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). RPM (magazine).
- Get Up and Boogie: "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 25, No. 12 June 19, 1976". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). RPM (magazine).
- No, No, Joe: "Top Singles - Volume 25, No. 26 September 25, 1976". Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). RPM (magazine).
- "Silver Convention - Artiestenpagina". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-16.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). dutchcharts.nl.
- Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- Billboard Hot 100: Peak positions for Silver Convention Billboard.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016
Les Humphries Singers
with Sing Sang Song
| Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest