Silver Convention: the inspiration for Luv'
Dernière mise à jour : 14 juil. 2022
Silver Convention most successful line-up: Linda G. Thompson, Penny McLean and Ramona Wulf
In 1976, well established Dutch record producer and songwriter Hans van Hemert got a revelation as he watched the Disco girl group "Silver Convention" performing on German television. Inspired by the visual aspect of this combo (one dark-skinned girl and two white girls), he came up with a wonderful idea: why not form his own female pop trio? He teamed up with composer-arranger Piet Souer and manager Han Meijer to launch his project. Patty Brard, Marga Scheide and José Hoebee were recruited to be part of Luv'. The rest is history.... Who were Silver Convention? The group was initiated in Munich by producers and songwriters Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze in 1974. It was originally called Silver Bird Convention and was named after Levay ("Silver" being his nickname).
Silver Convention started as a faceless studio group. Session vocalists Betsy Allen, Jackie Carter, Roberta Kelly, Lucy Neale and Gitta Walther were hired to record the debut single "Save Me" which charted across Europe, Australia and USA in 1975 (Germany: #33, Belgium (Flanders): #9, Belgium (Wallonia): #5, Netherlands (Nationale Hitparade): #8, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40): #9, Norway: #9, United Kingdom: #30, Italy: #44, Spain: #14, USA (Billboard disco chart): #1, Australia: #83) . Shortly afterwards, the first official line-up (Jackie Carter, Linda G. Thompson and Ramona Wulf) was presented to the public and the media.
Jackie, Ramona & Linda as Silver Convention (1975)
Save Me (1975)
Penny McLean rapidly replaced Jackie Carter. A second single entitled "Another girl" was released later in 1975 (Belgium (Flanders): #29, Belgium (Wallonia): #39, Netherlands: #19, USA (Billboard disco charts): #6).
Another Girl (1975)
The third single "Fly, Robin Fly" was their real international breakthrough in late 1975 (Germany: #3, Belgium (Flanders): #3, Belgium (Wallonia): #5, Canada: #3, Netherlands (Nationale Hitparade): #8, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40): #5, Italy: #3, Spain: #1, Norway: #8, Switzerland: #5, Austria: #9, France: #18 , Sweden: #16, Australia: #11, New Zealand: #16, UK: #28, USA (Billboard Hot 100): #1). The song won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. It sold more than one million copies in the USA and went gold.
Fly, Robin Fly (1975)
In 1976, the follow-up single "Get Up And Boogie" also became a major hit (Germany: #13, Netherlands: #6, Belgium (Flanders): #12, Belgium (Wallonia): #10, Norway: #6, Sweden: #14, France: #20, Italy: #5, UK: #7, Ireland: #15, Canada: #1, USA (Billboard Hot 100): #2, Australia: #19, New Zealand: #33, Japan: #35).
Penny, Ramona and Linda (1976)
Get Up Ang Boogie (1976)
Later in 1976, just after "No No Joe" came out (Germany: #49, Italy: #45, Spain: #18, UK: #41, Canada: #74, USA (Billboard Hot 100): #60), Linda G. Thompson was replaced by Rhonda Heath.
No No Joe (1976)
The first single of the renewed trio was "Everybody's talking about love" (UK: #25).
Penny, Ramona & Rhonda (1976)
Everybody's Talking About Love (1976)
In 1977, Silver Convention represented Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest in London and finished 8th with their track "Telegram" (Germany: #27, Belgium (Flanders): #26, Belgium (Wallonia): #45, Sweden: #4).
In late 1977, Penny McLean wanted to focus on her solo career and was temporarily replaced by Zenda Jacks (aka Suzie Jacks). The fourth line-up embarked on a world tour. Other records followed (including "Spend The Night With Me" (Billboard Disco Charts: #10). Then, Penny McLean returned to Silver Convention to record a final single, "Café Au Lait". The trio disbanded in 1979.
Silver Convention reunited on several occasions.
In 1983, the line-up consisting of Linda, Penny and Ramona performed a hit medley on Thomas Gottschalk's show "Na Sowas" on ZDF.
Linda, Penny and Ramona backstage at Na Sowas (1983)
In 1987, they re-recorded "Fly Robin Fly" and performed it on the "Wilkommen In Munich" TV show. Penny also sang a new version of her solo hit "Lady Bump" on the same occasion.
In 2000, Silver Convention appeared on ZDF's program "Gottschalks TV-Welt".
In 2004, Penny, Ramona and Rhonda Heath discussed their Eurovision entry "Telegram" on "Wunder Gibt Es Immer Wieder" on ARD.
Linda, Ramona and Penny appeared on RTL's 'Silvester Chart Show', broadcast on December 31st, 2006, to talk about the success of "Fly Robin, Fly".
In 2007, "The Original Silver Convention" (Penny, Linda & Ramona) performed in Feldkirchen in a show called "Swinging Classics".
In 2009 and 2012, they sang "Fly, Robin, Fly" on the Italian TV show "I Migliori Anni".
Other TV appearances, events and concerts followed in recent years (including a gig at the Alliierten Museum in Berlin in 2013, Eurovision fan club meetings in 2015 and 2016, Sylvester Levay’s 70th birthday in 2015 and the Disco Inferno party in New York in 2016).
Silver Convention and their legendary producer Sylvester Levay (2015)
Silver Convention at Ralph Siegel's 70th birthday party in Munich (2015)
Silver Convention performing their Eurovision song "Telegram" in 2016
Silver Convention performing at the Disco Inferno party in New York in 2016. Ramona sang despite her injury to her ankle.
In October 2021, Linda and Penny were invited to the premiere of Ralph Siegel's latest Musical 'Zeppelin' in Fussen, Germany.
Penny & Linda (2021)
Thanks, Hans R. de Vries, for your expertise!!!!
Visit Silver Convention's Official Tribute Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SilverConventionDiscoGroup/
Source: Facebook (The Silver Convention Official Tribute Page), YouTube, Wikipedia, Luv' weblog archives...