November 29

A Hit in 1982 Made for Just a Night, “Nobody” by Sylvia

A Hit in 1982 Made for Just a Night, “Nobody” by Sylvia 1

It was a celebration for three people when Sylvia took Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan’s composition “Nobody” to No. 1. Both the songwriters worked for Tom Collins at Pi Gem Publishing, the same company where Sylvia Kirby got her start as a receptionist.

Sylvia dropped her last name when she got her RCA record deal through Collins in late 1979. A couple of years later, she was in the process of putting together a new album called “Just Sylvia.” She already had ten pretty good songs lined up for the project. However, she asked her friends, Fleming and Morgan if they could come up with something a little stronger. The songwriters went to work on “Nobody” and finished up the song the night before Sylvia’s final session for the album. They rushed in and delivered the song to her the next morning even before having a chance to cut a demo tape on it.

Fleming and Morgan auditioned “Nobody” live for Sylvia in the office at Pi Gem. She was instantly drawn to it and learned the song right then and there for the 2:00 session that afternoon at Nashville’s Sound Emporium. The three-hour time frame was spent recording another song and polishing up earlier material. Before they knew it, there were only twenty minutes left in the session and work on “Nobody” hadn’t yet begun. Sylvia hastily completed her vocals, but time ran out and a special overdub session was arranged for the next day.

Producer Collins was pleased with most of Sylvia’s performance, having her re-do only a couple of words. Overdubs started with Shane Keister and Bobby Ogdin on synthesizers and The Cherry Sisters blending in their sassy backup vocals. Sylvia insists, “They made that record.”

Released on May 14, 1982, “Nobody” slammed into the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s country singles chart on August 21st. The disc earned a “gold record” award on December 21 of the same year for its sales of one million units. Sylvia logged four more Top Ten singles through 1985 but then took a hiatus from recording to devote time to more personal matters.


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