Meet Silver Convention [PHOTOS, VIDEOS]
Silver Convention was a “Euro-disco” group from the 1970′s…based in West Germany!
The band was originally known as Silver Bird Convention, and Silver Bird.
The group was formed in Munich by producers and songwriters Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze. The “Silver” came from Levay…it was his nickname!
In the late 1960′s, Kunze had been a pop lyricist, writing German protest songs! As protest fell out of favor, he began producing pop records and commercials. Levay had developed a love for American music while growing up in Yugoslavia.
Using female session singers, Levay and Kunze had a hit in England in 1975 with the song “Save Me.” The song hit #30 on the British charts.
Like other “studio groups” of the time, they guys quickly realized that now that they had a hit record, they would need to put a professional, public “face” on the band.
They recruited vocalists Linda Thompson (real name Linda Übelherr), Penny McLean (real name Gertrude Wirschinger) and Ramona Wulf (real name Ramona Kraft). Their first production was the minor single “There Is Always Another Girl.”
As “Silver Convention,” the band had 2 major hits in the U.S:
“Fly, Robin, Fly” (#1/1975).
It stayed at #1 for 3 weeks in late November and early December.
Give this hit a a good listen…and you’ll notice that its consists of only 6 words: “Fly, Robin, Up, To, The, Sky.”
It sold over a million copies, awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. Silver Convention was awarded the Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.
One more interesting note about Fly, Robin, Fly: It was originally called ”Run, Rabbit, Run,” but that was changed just moments before the recording session was started!
Silver Convention’s next hit, “Get Up And Boogie (That’s Right)” went to #2 for 3 weeks in the Spring of 1976.
The song hit #1 in Canada, and #7 in England.
And, like “Fly,” this song also had 6 words as lyrics: “Get, Up, And, Boogie, That’s, Right.”
Their next release, “No, No, Joe,” stalled out at #60 (1976).
Later singles attempted to duplicate the sound that had made Silver Convention successful, but they failed to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
At this time, Linda G. Thompson left the band, and was replaced by Rhonda Heath, who was chosen at an open casting call!
Band founder/producer Michael Kunze wrote the lyrics on the first two Silver Convention albums under the pseudonym Stephan Prager.
At this same time, all three Silver Convention singers put out solo songs!
Penny McLean scored with “Lady Bump,” (#48/1976).
Thompson and Wulf’s songs did not chart on the Hot 100.
In 1977, Silver Convention represented Germany in the “Eurovision Song Contest.”
“Telegram” (a song in English, with more than 6 words) finished eighth in the competition.
The following year, 1978, saw Silver Convention put out another album, with a new producer.
Under John Davis’ watchful eye, “Love In A Sleeper” was recorded. Suzie McClosky (Zenda Jacks) joined Rhonda Heath and Ramona Wulf in the studio.
“Spend The Night With Me” was released as a 12 inch single (it did not chart).
Silver Convention was history by 1979.
The solo careers of the Silver Convention singers was over quickly…and they left the business. Both Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze would go on to collaborate with other writers and producers.