UNSUNG: The Sylvers – Aired August 1st, TV One
After watching many episodes of UNSUNG, I have to admit, The Sylvers left me wanting more…a LOT more.
The Sylvers on Unsung
The flow of the show was just not there, and many of the men in the group did not appear during the segment, outside of a super sleazy manager who took full advantage of the kids, signing them to a contract that gave him 50%. Yes, I said 50% of their earnings…something was missing.
The most compelling parts were the oldest sister Olympia, a once stunning young woman (pictured), and the revelation that during the group’s early years, she had been kidnapped, viciously attacked, stabbed, and forced to escape out of a moving vehicle where she managed to run to safety should have been enough.
Unfortunately, she would never be the same after the event and suffered from severe mental illness. She lived on the streets of LA and was beaten and attacked several more times while dealing with her mental problem. This always gets to me because I am disturbed at how mentally ill people are ignored in the black community and our refusal to acknowledge that it exists.
The other unfortunate parts about the segment are that brothers Ricky and Foster are currently in prison (I was unaware of this) both for parole violations, and both have also had severe battles with drugs.
The Sylvers Connection to Ike Turner
Finally, after giving the mother 10 children, the father was good friends with Ike Turner in the early 60s. Need I say more? He ended up having a drinking problem and left his wife with ten kids in 1964, forcing her to raise the kids on her own.
Talk about a coward. She admits it was almost impossible to find an apartment that would take that many people that she could afford, so they ended up living in the projects in Watts.
The lead singer Edmond died several years ago, and there’s more to learn about the group in the show that I will not reveal. The show airs on Monday.
I came across this video of one of the late Edmund Sylvers’ son trying to bring all of his brothers and sisters together for the first time. It was said that Edmund had up to 11 kids. This would have been a great idea for a reality show. (see video below)
How Did The Sylvers Get Their Start
The singing group The Sylvers initially started in the music industry in the late 1960s. The family musical act consisted of nine siblings: Olympia, Leon, Charmaine, James, Edmund, Ricky, Angie, Pat, and Foster. They were discovered by Fred Astaire’s manager, Lou Brown, who saw the family performing at a talent show in Watts, Los Angeles.
Impressed by their talent, Lou Brown helped the group secure a recording contract with MGM Records. Their debut album, titled “The Sylvers,” was released in 1972 and included their first hit single, “Fool’s Paradise.” The song achieved moderate success on the Billboard charts.
Following their debut, The Sylvers released albums throughout the 1970s, with several of their songs becoming hits. They gained popularity with tracks like “Boogie Fever,” “Hot Line,” and “High School Dance.” Their music blended elements of soul, funk, and disco, appealing to a wide audience during the disco era.
The Sylvers’ energetic performances and catchy tunes contributed to their rise in the music industry. They achieved recognition as a talented family group, known for their harmonies and synchronized dance moves. While their popularity waned in the 1980s, their music continues to be appreciated by fans and has left a lasting legacy in the realm of soul and disco music.
What Happened to Edmund Sylvers
Edmund Sylvers, a member of the singing group The Sylvers, faced personal challenges and tragic events throughout his life. Edmund passed away on March 11, 2004, at the age of 47.
Edmund struggled with substance abuse issues, particularly with drugs, which had a significant impact on his life and career. His battles with addiction reportedly affected his ability to consistently participate in the group’s activities. Despite these challenges, Edmund contributed to the success of The Sylvers through his vocal talents and performances.
The exact circumstances surrounding Edmund Sylvers’ death are not widely available, but it is known that his passing occurred at a relatively young age. His contributions to The Sylvers’ music and legacy are remembered by fans of the group.