Vocalist and jazz singer, Sylvia Syms was known as the "world's greatest saloon singer" by Frank Sinatra. She sang everything from cabaret music to light jazz. Her claim to fame is her versatility in singing, making every song original in its style and sound.
Sylvia Syms was born in New York City. Her interest in music developed at an early age, her first performance being in front of family and friends. She began her professional singing career in nightclubs where she met such singing legends as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Her career quickly took off and she released albums on the DRG label, the Bainbridge label and several other independent labels. She brought a new sound to jazz with such hits as "Wild Is the Wind" and "Cuando Te Fuiste De Mi."
Aside from her jazz performances she has released several pre-rock songs and albums. On the Prestige label she released the albums Sylvia Is! and For Once In My Life. She was accompanied by Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Willie Rodriguez, Sam Bruno and Johnny "Hammond" Smith. On these albums she recorded popular favorites as well as fresh releases. The favorites included "If You Could See Me Now," "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me," "Vaya Con Dios," "Yesterday" and "For Once In My Life." Sylvia Syms had a talented gift in that she took early rock songs and made them brand new as if they were being sung for the first time. This ability made her well-known in the music industry.
Along with upbeat rock songs, Sylvia Syms also recorded a CD full of love songs. The album, titled Sylvia Syms Sings/Songs of Love, includes such popular sentimentals as "Isn't It Romantic," "What's the Use of Won'drin," "We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye" and "Let Me Love You."
Sylvia Syms, the nightclub singer should not be confused with the British film and television actress, Sylvia Syms. Although the two both died in 1992, British actress Sylvia Syms was only 58 when she died, whereas Sylvia Syms the singer died at the age of 79 in New York City.
During her long career, Sylvia Syms recorded more than 15 albums in several different genres. Her musical contribution is that of singing several different styles of music with one voice. Confused throughout her life as also being a British actress, Sylvia Syms died with the recognition of being a talented jazz singer on May 10, 1992. ~ Kim Summers