Together and apart, Mickey Baker and Sylvia Robinson (nee Vanterpool) chased various formulas until they hit on “Love is Strange” in 1957. Then they chased more formulas (including some they invented) into the early 60’s before Baker finally gave in and moved to France.
Robinson persisted in the music industry, eventually landing a big hit with “Pillow Talk” in the 70’s and becoming a founding mother of Hip Hop when she started Sugarhill Records and released “Rapper’s Delight” and “The Message.” But that’s another story for another time.
The reason I do deep dives on one hit wonders is…you never know what you’ll find, especially in 50’s R&B.
I found plenty of fine sides among the 56 collected here, but the killer was “Two Shadows on Your Window,” which is as far from the ambiance of “Love is Strange” as you can get….and proof you should never stop looking:
NOTE: This later live version (still fine) is from later on, but all that’s available on YouTube. I’ll keep an eye out for the real thing, which has a beautiful intimacy all its own.