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The Nylons - Sterling
The Nylons celebrate 25 years as recording artists with Sterling...

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With seven gold & platinum recordings, this four member vocal group is a true international success story. Known for their great acappella sound, dazzling harmonies and smooth arrangements, The Nylons immense appeal has taken them across North America, Europe, Australia, China and Japan. Watch for the release of their 16th CD SKIN TIGHT early 2011. The Nylons continue to perform worldwide to passionate audiences and critical acclaim.

Biography

It all begins with the voice. And The Nylons have never even needed a band - they just needed their voices, their joy, and their ability to entertain audiences.

In 1979 four Toronto actors, "resting" and bored between auditions and jobs, decided to create a band. Problem: Paul Cooper, Mark Connors, Claude Morrison and Denis Simpson weren't instrumentalists, but, dammit, they sure could sing. The four were singing their hearts out in the back room of a Toronto deli, and soon there were little after-hours gigs and some benefit performances.

With a reputation building in Queen Street "art" circles, The Nylons - named in the style of black vocal groups like The Orlons and The Chiffons - were ready for prime time. In April 1979 the group had its first "professional" engagement in an upstairs (and unlicensed) club across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

The seating was hard, you couldn't buy a drink, the sound system was rudimentary - and a single nylon hung from the centre microphone. The room was packed and the initial two-week run was extended for an additional six weeks; the Nylons became media darlings, and soon there was a 17-week run at a Queen Street club.

By the time the Nylons' self-titled debut album was released in early 1982 the group had built a national reputation as the result of constant coast-to-coast touring - and the record went Platinum in two months, a feat repeated by the second album, One Size Fits All, which came out at the end of the same year.

The band has been on the road ever since. One Size Fits All took them to Australia and Holland and Japan; other tours have taken them across Canada more times than any of the members can remember, throughout the United States, often with artists like The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, and The Pointer Sisters on the bill. There have been awards, Juno Award nominations, gigs singing the National Anthem at Grey Cup games (and at Game 6 of the 1992 World Series when the Toronto Blue Jays won the title), a Top 10 Billboard hit (Kiss Him Goodbye), and even an adlib unrehearsed sit-in with The Persuasions (the veteran US a cappella band).

Now, all these years later, the Nylons still matter. There have been 17 albums so far (including three compilations), and the group's world-class producers have included David Foster (Celine Dion and dozens of others), Val Garay (Bette Davis Eyes), Chilliwack frontman Bill Henderson, Andy Goldmark (Michael Bolton's producer), British producer Ian Prince, who won a Grammy for his work with Quincy Jones' 'Back on the Block' and Toronto's Peter Mann.

There have been - counting the current line-up - a total of 12 group members in the group's 27 years. Claude Morrison is the only original member still in the group, although Arnold Robinson, who joined in 1981 and who retired in early 2006, comes close to Claude's longevity.

But every member of The Nylons played a significant part in the group's quarter-century story. Denis Simpson and Ralph Cole left before the band made their debut album (although they're heard on the two early demo tracks that open the Sterling CD). Paul Cooper left in 1989, exhausted and tired of life on the road; Mark Connor, sadly died of AIDS in March 1991. Billy Newton-Davis and Micah Barnes had, respectively, three and four-year runs with the group in the early '90s, and Mark Cassius was with the band from 1997 to 2005.

The energy and spark the group had when it started is still present, as you can hear from the two most recent tracks recorded for Sterling with the present lineup - Claude, Garth Mosbaugh, Gavin Hope and Tyrone Gabriel.

It has now been over twenty seven years. Tours, trials, tantrums, tribulations, and tributes - and a hell of a lot of good music, good times, great singing Ð The Nylons continue to perform worldwide to passionate audiences and critical acclaim..

The Nylons through time:


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1979

 

  1979

 

  1980

 

1982

 

  1992

 

1994
   

Individual Biographies

Claude Morrison - Tenor

Claude Morrison is a Toronto native. Early on in his young life he knew that he had vocal music in his blood while attending St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto, alma mater of such renowned singers as The Diamonds, The Four Lads, Michael Burgess and John McDermott.

"As a kid, I used to fall asleep while humming the various vocal parts of the Mamas and the Papas - I knew them all. By that time, I had the bug under my skin and I knew that anything I did would be with a similar objective."

While still a youth, he studying piano, providing a solid musical foundation. Later on, at University of Pennsylvania, he was in several musical theatre productions. He landed the first job he auditioned for, with the Famous People Players, which went on to open for the late Liberace in his Las Vegas show.

"Even though that job had nothing to do with singing, it was an opportunity to be part of a legitimate professional production, and the fact that I was fresh out of school gave me a kind of chutzpah that I might otherwise never have had. It was a terrific experience."

He continued on in various musical theatre and television productions, primarily as a dancer, which would be useful later on when the Nylons came into being. "I was working as a singing waiter which allowed me to get to know others getting started." Among those was Denis Simpson, a fixture on the Toronto theatre scene, and who eventually, along with Paul Cooper and Marc Connors, became one of the founding members of the Nylons.

"The main thing I had going for me was this unusual falsetto voice which gave me a unique niche within the group. I was just flattered and honoured that these talented people saw fit to include me when the group was getting off the ground."

Nearly twenty-five years later, Morrison still credits the group with offering him more than just a chance to do what he loves to do. "I've been many places, many countries, and gone through lots of experiences providing me the opportunity to take this music around the world. When all is said and done, that is the gift that has kept on giving."

 

Gavin Hope - Baritone

Gavin has a diverse experience though song, stage, film, and TV throughout his career. Born in Toronto, but raised in Calgary, he started his musical journey through many choirs, and ended up being the youngest member in Calgary Opera Chorus history. He's been a member of Alberta pop group The EarthTones, sang back up for Michael Bolton, and eventually became a member of Canadian Pop A Cappella institution The Nylons by the tender age of 20. Four albums, international touring, and a Juno nomination later, Gavin ventured back to theatre, where highlights include playing the lead Collins in RENT at the Royal Alex theatre in Toronto, and having the opportunity to play Simba in the original Canadian company of The Lion King. A few other selected theatre favorites include Tempest, As You Like It with the Canadian Stage Company, and Smokey Joe's Cafe at Stage West Calgary. Gavin recorded his debut album "Anything Like Mine" in 1998, gaining favorable chart positions on Canadian airwaves with 9 singles, including "Can I Get Close" which garnered him another Juno nomination for best R&B solo recording. Gavin has traveled the world and shared the stage with such celebrities as Deborah Cox, Jill Scott, Shania Twain, Michelle Wright, Natalie Cole, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin, just to name a few. After some time gigging with multiple bands, performing jingles for both radio, television and motion pictures, traveling the globe as a solo performer and actor, as well as being a featured vocalist with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise lines, Gavin is looking forward to this next chapter with the Nylons, singing, touring, and making fabulous harmonies once again.

 

Garth Mosbaugh - Tenor

Garth Mosbaugh was born in a small town in Muskoka about 150 miles north of Toronto in Ontario. He is a thirteenth generation musician whose ancestors were a lineage of Belgian violinists, most notably his great grandfather Eugene Ysaye who achieved fame in the western world as a virtuoso and later as a conductor. With the influences of his mother, a concert pianist, and his siblings, all musicians, he was constantly surrounded by music.

At the age of four his family moved to Barbados where he became more interested in climbing trees than music. He only came to discover his own musical talent when he moved back to Canada to attend high school. He learned to play the piano by ear, accompanied himself singing songs in college pubs and participated in school musical productions. His professional career began when he joined forces with his brother and sister to form a vocal jazz trio called GENES. The music of Genes broke the barriers of style to include pop, jazz, baroque and everything in between.

"GENES was my real training ground in music." Garth claims. "Our explorations into the realms of music were so broad and unconventional that we had a hard time appealing to any one demographic but we did develop a unique vocal style that increasingly ventured into a cappella."

After six years of Genes the group disbanded to seek other musical directions. Garth played and sang in childrens groups, bar bands and recording sessions for jingles and corporate projects. In 1990 he became a regular host on the long running TV Ontario childrens show, THE POLKA DOT DOOR. In 1994 he auditioned for the Nylons and has been performing with the group steadily since then. Garth now resides in beautiful British Columbia where he fulfills his childhood dreams of climbing all the trees he wants.

 

Tyrone Gabriel - Bass

Tyrone Gabriel joined The Nylons in April 2005. Recognized for his smooth vocals, Tyrone's charm and "joie de vie" are attributes that Tyrone brings to every performance. Tyrone is a versatile and dynamic vocalist, musician and lyricist. Born and raised in Toronto, Tyrone's background is a beautiful medley of Nova Scotian pride and Trinidadian flair. Tyrone studied music at the University of Toronto and Humber College and started his musical career early. Before he was even a teenager, he had opened for Barry White at Massey Hall in Toronto. Tyrone has performed for audiences across North America and Europe in numerous musical productions including Once On This Island and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. He captivates his audiences with his soulful renditions of the great songs of the past and present. In his spare time, Tyrone performs Jazz and R&B with his own band.

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