Sylvia Syms (singer)

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Sylvia Syms

Sylvia Syms (December 2, 1917 – May 10, 1992) was an American jazz singer.

She was born Sylvia Blagman in Brooklyn, New York, United States. As a child, she had polio. As a teenager, she went to jazz-oriented nightclubs on New York's 52nd Street, and received informal training from Billie Holiday. In 1941 she made her debut at Kelly's Stable.[1]

In 1948, performing at the Cinderella Club in Greenwich Village, she was seen by Mae West, who gave her a part in a show she was doing.[1] Among others who observed her in nightclubs was Frank Sinatra who considered her the "world's greatest saloon singer." Sinatra subsequently conducted her 1982 album, Syms by Sinatra.

She was signed to a recording contract by Decca Records, having her major success with a recording of "I Could Have Danced All Night" in 1956, which sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[2] Syms made regular appearances at the Carlyle in Manhattan. At times, impromptu, while enjoying a cocktail in the bar of the Carlyle, she would walk on stage and perform with the cabaret's other regular, Bobby Short.

Sylvia Syms had a lung removed circa 1972 despite which she shortly thereafter performed as Bloody Mary in South Pacific for several months at the Chateau de Ville Dinner Theater - a performance that was well received by reviewers and audiences alike.

She died on stage at the Algonquin Hotel in New York from a heart attack, aged 74.[3][4]

Album discography[edit]

Year Title Label
1952 Songs By [10" version] Atlantic
1954 After Dark [10"] Version Records
1955 Songs By [12" version] Atlantic
1956 Sylvia Sings Decca
1957 Songs of Love Decca
1959 Torch Song Columbia
1961 That Man Kapp
1964 Fabulous 20th Century Fox
1965 Sylvia Is! Prestige
1967 For Once in My Life Prestige
1970 Love Lady Stanyan Records
1976 Lovingly Atlantic Records
1978 She Loves to Hear the Music A&M
1982 Syms by Sinatra Reprise
1984 A Jazz Portrait of Johnny Mercer DRG Records
1989 Then Along Came Bill DRG Records
1992 You Must Believe in Spring Elba Records
2004 The Columbia Years Columbia Records

Films[edit]

  • The Goldbergs (1950)
  • The Blue Veil (1951)
  • Night Without Sleep (1952)
  • It Happens Every Thursday (1953)
  • Some of My Best Friends Are (1971)
  • Born to Win (1971)

Television[edit]

  • The Tonight Show – 1955
  • The Tonight Show – 1956
  • The VIP Show of the Year – Sep 9, 1956
  • Stars of Jazz - Dec 17, 1956
  • Playboy’s Penthouse – Sep 23, 1961
  • Playboy’s Penthouse – Apr 21, 1962
  • The Merv Griffin Show – 1962
  • The Merv Griffin Show – 1963
  • The Tonight Show – Sep 17, 1963
  • The Mike Douglas Show – 1965
  • The Merv Griffin Show – Jun 29, 1966
  • Donald O’Connor Show – Oct 21, 1968
  • The Merv Griffin Show – 1969
  • The Mike Douglas Show – 1969
  • The Mike Douglas Show – Aug 9, 1970
  • The Tonight Show - Aug 6, 1972
  • The Mike Douglas Show – Aug 11, 1974
  • The Merv Griffin Show – 1974
  • The Tonight Show – Feb 25, 1975
  • The Merv Griffin Show – 1978
  • The Dick Cavett Show – Nov 16, 1978
  • Dinah! – Nov 17, 1978
  • Over Easy – Nov 24, 1978
  • Over Easy – May 23, 1980
  • Glenn Miller: A Moonlight Serenade – Dec 1, 1984
  • American Masters: The Long Night of Lady Day - Aug 3, 1986
  • Buddy Barnes Live at Studio B – 1986

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "People". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1979-08-26. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 87. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ "| Archives | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  4. ^ "Sylvia Syms". Jamesgavin.com. 1992-05-17. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 

External links[edit]