R&B guitar duo Mickey & Sylvia (1956-1958)
In 1955 Mickey Baker (1925-2012) formed Mickey & Sylvia
with his guitar student Sylvia Vanderpool (1936-2011). Their biggest hit was “Love is Strange” in 1956.
It topped Billboard’s R&B chart for two weeks and reached No. 11 on the Hot 100. They followed up with “There Oughta Be a Law,” which hit the R&B top 10 but would be the duo’s last big hit. They split up in 1959 but would record together off and on into the mid-60s. More than a decade later, Vanderpool under her married name, Sylvia Robinson would
be dubbed The Mother of Hip Hop. She helped introduce the world to rap music as founder Sugar Hill Records. The act she discovered, Sugarhill Gang, recorded rap’s first national hit single, “Rapper’s Delight,” in 1979.