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Terry Sylvester (Hollies)


Don_Krider

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I don't think you are, Bernie. I had never heard of him before this thread, to be totally honest. But I was never a big Hollies fan, either. Like I said, he's getting more press on this thread than he's had in 30 years. And like they say, bad press is better than no press!

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Paul,

A very eloquently stated response.

Bernie, you're not alone. I liked a lot of the Hollies material (particularly Long Dark Road) and felt they were better than 95% of the British bands (back in the day) but - Terry who? He didn't hit my radar screen.

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Bernie,

You're not alone --- I like many of The Hollies hits, but I really didn't know who Terry Sylvester was until I found his website.

According to his website bio, Terry Sylvester replaced guitarist Rick Ellis in The Swinging Blue Jeans in 1966 (they had a #90 U. S. hit in 1964 with "Hippy Hippy Shake") and he later replaced Graham Nash in The Hollies circa December of 1968.

I ran across the Q&A on his website while searching for newspaper articles (a failed internet hope) about the Hollies-Raspberries tour.

LC, I agree --- those comments on success and longevity seemed like a dig at Raspberries that deserved a reply, but Paul's comments have given me a new perspective on the matter (rock star "posturing") that makes sense to me.

Don smile

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Glad that Paul sort of cleared a lot up regarding the Terry Sylvester thing. I'm a big fan of the Hollies. They were going through a weird turn in their career having lost Allan Clarke and replacing him with somebody who didn't know much in the way of the English language! I thought that he was a weird choice even then. Mikael Rikfors has a much lower voice than Mr. Clarke which must've been strange for their fans. All that being said, I agree with Bernie. Seeing the 'Berries on Don Kirschner's promoting "Side 3" gives you the idea that they really could blow anybody off the stage. The Hollies were probably a very grouchy bunch!!

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"Bus Stop" and "Look through Any Window","Air that I Breathe" were first rate Hollies tunes. I always thought "Carrie Ann" was a little sing-songy, and obnoxious actually but that steel drum sound bit was nice. But what did Terry Sylvester have to do with those memorable tunes? I think the answer is nil, nyet, nada, zilch, zeromundo.

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Thanks, everyone for being open minded, and for the sincere comments.

Don, thanks for your 'Louisville Welcome'...today, we unfortunately had to cancel our appearance due to some personal stuff with a couple of bandmates. We will be back in 2007! We're now going to focus on our August Cavern shows in Liverpool UK. We should 'educate' the English with 'Go All The Way', eh?

As for Terry's role(s) between 1969-83: mainly acoustic/ electric rhythm guitar.... never played a lead. Tony Hicks was just way too good! His Martin acoustic used on 'The Air That I Breathe' is hanging up in The Rock Hall just around the corner from the Raspberries drum head!

In the studio, he sang (really) high harmonies on the big hits, ('Heavy', 'Air', 'Sorry Suzanne') and sang lead on lower charting singles like 'Jesus Was A Crossmaker' (the opening song in the recent Cameron Crowe film ELIZABETHTOWN), 'Gasoline Alley Bred' and 'Magic Woman Touch'.

He wrote or co-wrote a bunch of songs that filled up over a dozen album sides. One was 'Lonely Hobo Lullaby'...Percy Sledge just covered that song last year on his 'coming out of retirement' CD.

As for the '#2 in worldwide sales' comment, yes it is verifiable. For singles. They were huge all over Europe, South Africa, Aust/New Zealand, and the Pacific Asian countries.

In the 70's, he recorded a solo LP (mild hit with 'For The Peace of All Mankind', written by Albert Hammond (Senior!)). And he sang on the first Alan Parsons Project LP with other guests. His last mainstream recording effort was with Bread's James Griffin, and he occasionally does live acoustic shows with John Ford Coley ('Nights Are Forever') and opens for Ambrosia. In September, all three will be touring The Phillipines, Japan and Hawaii as "The Soft Rock Cafe'". I asked if they needed a cheap bass player to join them, but the position was already filled. ;^)

OK....gotta get back to work.

Thanks y'all

Paul

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Paul, sorry to hear your band won't be at the festival. Good luck at The Cavern! And, yes, somebody should shake The Cavern walls with "Go All The Way"!

Thanks for the bio on Terry Sylvester, too.

For anybody wondering about the Abbey Road On The River festival in Louisville, here's their website: http://www.abbeyroadontheriver.com

Pete Best of the original Beatles will be there as a speaker. I watched his PBS-TV special "Best Of The Beatles" not long ago and it was quite interesting.

The festival had 18,000 people watching 50 Beatle tribute bands Memorial Day weekend here last year (one of the bands this year is Revolution Pie from Cleveland --- http://www.revolutionpie.com --- I'm kind of curious to hear them).

The band's performing are interesting in that some bands totally recreate various periods of The Beatles while others recreate single albums (one group did all of "Abbey Road" last year, for instance). The acts come from around the world.

The Smithereens did a well-received all-Beatles set there last year.

Don smile

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the other thing in T.S.'s defense is that "Jesus Was A Crossmaker" is arguably as important a Hollies song as "Air That I Breathe" and holds up a lot better than a good chunk of their hits... and "Romany" ain't a bad album, despite no Allan Clarke or G. Nash... "Slow Down" is another highlight.... to bad it took a film soundtrack to awaken Terry to "Jesus Was A Crossmaker"'s brilliance... a few years back he wouldn't even do it when his back up band had it down...

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I have nothing against the Hollies but I really don't believe for a minute that they sold more singles worldwide than Elvis. Many Elvis fans believe that if "real" figures were compiled instead of "industry" sources that Elvis would even top the Beatles. Does anyone have any online sources that compile worldwide sales figures for singles?

Bernie

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you're absolutely right Bernie... but the proof is in the ether or lost to the moon... there's no credible way to check except for the fact that Elvis had 114 singles make the U.S. top 40 alone (the Hollies had 12)--

between 1956-1962 he placed 50 of them in the top 40... 21 of which were million sellers or better... i doubt the Hollies even match him w/ their world sales vs. Elvis' US sales...

For US/UK purposes the Hollies released about 70 singles from 63-89...

In the UK 26 made the top 40....

I don't think they came close to outselling the King -- not even half of what he sold... call it fuzzy math....

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I don't know the chronology-when Clarke left and returned-but it sounds like Clarke to me too on "Gasoline Alley Bred".This is a great song that I believe wasn't huge,only because it was too "British Self Referential' and American kids didn't get it.

Bernie-the Hollies really were HUGE internationally. Much like ABBA and the game of professional soccer-the Hollies were bigger everywhere than they were in the USA.

Ya know somethin'? I hate this feudin' Both Raspberries and the Hollies made the world a little bit better place.-Ira.

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Bernie,

Paul probably has another source, but the only reference I can find citing The Hollies as second to the The Beatles is a UK website at http://www.necgroup.co.uk/corporate/whatson/4120/ --- if I'm reading it correctly, it is actually saying The Hollies were second to The Beatles in singles sales "in the 60s" (but it doesn't say where the data comes from, whether it is UK only or worldwide, if it is just for "the 60s" or anything that I can check):

-------------------------------------------------

Just two headlines from the many rave reviews from the Hollies recent British tour. It proves The Hollies are as popular today as they were four decades ago in the 60s when they were only just behind The Beatles in single sales.

-------------------------------------------------

The RIAA certifies sales in the U. S., but there is *no* organization that certifies worldwide sales, and there are a number of countries that sell product without reporting sales and/or paying the artists and some record labels inflate sales figures, so a definitive worldwide sales list is something I haven't found.

There are some interesting sources, though, that may come close: one is Reference.Com --- http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/List_of_best-selling_music_artists --- and it lists both The Beatles and Elvis Presley with combined worldwide (albums and singles) sales of 500 million each!

Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop" book lists the (again, U. S. only) Top 5 Artists with the most Hot 100 Singles as Elvis Presley (149), James Brown (92), Ray Charles (74), The Beatles (68) and Frank Sinatra (67). The Beatles had 20 #1 singles and Elvis had 18 #1 hits (Paul McCartney solo has 8 #1 hits), but in the "most weeks at #1" on the U. S. singles charts, according to Whitburn, it's Elvis with 80 weeks and The Beatles with 59 weeks (The Bee Gees have 27 weeks and Paul McCartney has 24 weeks).

On Elvis: spanning five pages in Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop" book --- Elvis Presley had 149 U. S. singles hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop charts from 1956 to 1982 (three of them released after the great man passed away; his first chart single, "Heartbreak Hotel," was #1 for eight straight weeks in 1956).

In England, Elvis still "lives," charting as recently as 2005. Interesting British chart stats on Elvis and other acts at: http://www.everyhit.co.uk/record2.html

Some quick notes (just if anyone is curious):

In the U. S. (not worldwide), the second biggest British *singles* act (group-wise) of the British Invasion period (circa 1964-68) was probably The Dave Clark Five ("Glad All Over," "Can't You See That She's Mine," "Bits And Pieces," "Because," "Catch Us If You Can", "You've Got What It Takes"). In 1964, Ed Sullivan signed two British groups to three appearances on his show, The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five.

As far as U. S. singles chart success in the 60s by a British group, according to the liner notes for their "History" anthology, The Dave Clark Five had 24 Hot 100 singles (eight of them in 1964 alone, including four Top 10 hits) in the USA between 1964 and 1968.

The DC5, on Billboard's singles charts, had 15 consecutive Top 20 hits in 1964-66, second only to The Beatles (who had 25 Top 20 hits in 1964-66) in the same time frame; during the same time frame: Herman's Hermits had 12 Top 20 hits, The Rolling Stones had 10, The Animals had six and The Kinks had five).

On the U. S. charts, The Hollies (their first U. S. hit, "Just One Look" in 1964, peaked at #98, followed by "Look Through Any Window" in 1965-66, which peaked at #32) had two Top 20 hits in 1964-66 with "Bus Stop" and "Stop Stop Stop" (they had two more Top 20 hits in 1967 with "Carrie-Anne" and "On A Carousel"). Their highest-charting U. S. single was "Long Cool Woman" (which I love), which peaked at #2 in 1972.

I agree with Ira, Raspberries and The Hollies are both too good for "fussin' and fightin'" --- both acts made some great music (I agree with Bernie, though, Raspberries on Kirshner in 1973 were awesome and I suspect Raspberries would have blown The Hollies off the stage back then).

While I haven't found any newspaper reviews of Hollies-Raspberries gigs, yet, there are plenty of press reviews from Carnegie Hall where reviewers expected Stories (riding high with a #1 single in "Brother Louie") to blow Raspberries off the stage at Carnegie Hall, but it was Raspberries who won that night in every review I've ever seen.

Now, it would be awesome to see the reunited Raspberries hit Carnegie Hall in the future (and make a recording this time).

Don smile

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I played with Terry Sylvester towards the end of 2004 & a few times in 2005. He's a nice fellow. When I first met him, I told him I was rehearsing w the Raspberries for the fisrt reunion show. He imediately went off saying "The Raspberries never blew us off the stage!!" But he changed his tune to say that " I love "All By Myself", Great record". Being the British Invasion fan that I am, I've always been excited to have the oppurtunity to work with artists such as Billy J Kramer, Joey Molland, Peter Noone etc. My ultimate dream was to play guitar with a Beatle!!! That's not happened yet!! But when I got the call to play w Terry, I was excited, not because of the Hollies, but knowing he was a member of the Swinging Blue Jeans!! I have to say that some of his arrangements of the Hollies songs were "strange" to say the least. "The Air That I Breathe" was lowered from the key of C down to G which was almost unrecognizable. Lets face it, the main sound of the Hollies that we all love is that vocal blend of Allen Clarke, Grahmm Nash, and Tony Hicks. With all due respect to Terry, without those vocal elements that made them famous, I sure would have hated to have to follow the Raspberries!!!!!

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Billy--Wow! Terry's instant reaction to your mention of the Raspberries is very telling. Clearly, he's very sensitive about that tour story....

Anyway, good stuff, and good insight from a musician. Thanks! (And I hope you get your chance to play with Paul and/or Ringo....)

--LC

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Hi Billy. I was hoping to book a Billy J show here in Syracuse, but couldn't find a sponsor. Terry told me of his experience with you, and he couldn't say enough about you. After he told me you were Billy J's MD, I wanted to make the show happen just to jam with you and talk about The 'berries! I'll keep trying!

Don, thanks for doing the legwork on The Hollies singles. Yeah...it all depends on how you say it I guess. Maybe it's that they are the second best 'group' (as opposed to an 'artist' like Elvis) or second best in 'the 60's' (as opposed to all time).

Whatever!! They still have millions sold around the world, and you can catch them live all over Europe with two original members, or catch Terry's show for a bit of nostalgia. The current band is appearing at the Taste of Minnesota this summer, I guess.

It's like Kevin Costner in 'Bull Durham'. He was in "the show", and went back to AAA ball to break the home run record...the MINOR league home run record. Who cares, right? He still did it, and loved it all the way.

Like packing concert arenas one day, then playing club concerts for a couple hundred people the next day. Terry was in "the show" for many years, and no one can take it away from him. The Raspberries were also in "the show", and Eric continued on into it solo. No one can take it away from them either. Now they are back, and they are unique to 'comeback bands', that they have the SAME chops 25 years later.

And thanks to radio, satellite radio and internet streaming, we can enjoy all of their hits while do the daily grind.

Paul

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Thats a nice analogy, "being in the show." Those achievements last forever. I think the thing about the Raspberries is that the recent reunion shows demonstrated that they were even tighter than when I saw them in the early 70s in Detroit.

In anticipating those shows, I thought it would

all hinge on Erics voice really-and he delivered. As we know, many people lose it singing wise with passing time. The trouble with many of the reunion/nostalgia shows is that some of these people just dont have it anymore.(Some didnt have it first time around.) Good to see some research on the Hollies statstics cause I dont buy it either that they are behind Elvis. Maybe Elvis Costello, I dont know.

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Hey Paul, Terry is a nice guy. He was easy to work with, so is Eric. I remember the first time I backed up Terry was somewhere in Canada. That time, not only I was singing but we had another guy in the band with a high voice that was singing along w Terry as well. We were able to somewhat create some of the Hollies harmonies. The last couple times I played w Terry, I was the only guy singing w him and it was strange. Strange because hearing those songs with just 2 part harmony. Billy J just signed on w a new agent. You can contact him on his website www.BillyJKramer.com

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Billy, I loved that earlier post, and I hope you get your Beatle gig one day.

Paul, I'm just glad so many of my favorite musicians are still around and still connecting with the fans. I'll forever wish I had seen John Lennon, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley on stage when they were around.

Don smile

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