Silver Convention was Germany’s leading disco group and also the leading female trio during the 1970’s. The impression they made on the charts during their relatively short time span as a group is remarkable. The ladies who formed Silver Convention also had solo careers – and in November this year, it will be 40 years since their chart topping classic “Fly Robin, Fly” topped the hit lists all over the world. They released 5 great albums, did some one-off singles and the three ladies all continued working after the group disbanded.

I will take a look at their recorded output (both as a group and as solo artists) and give you an update on what these ladies are doing today.

The classic lineup from left to right: Penny Mc Lean, Linda G. Thompson and Ramona Wulf

The classic lineup from left to right: Penny Mc Lean, Linda G. Thompson and Ramona Wulf

Originally being just another studio group, Silver Convention was actually formed after their first single “Save Me” had seen some success. Penny, Linda and Jackie Carter then sang the six words to “Fly Robin, Fly” – and this robin certainly could fly! No one was even prepared for what happened next, as the song took off and turned into a major disco hit. The song topped all the major US Charts (The Hot 100, the R’n’B Charts and the Dance Charts) – making Silver Convention the first German act to achieve that feat! They also won the 1975 Grammy Award for best instrumental recording. Jackie Carter had left the group at this point, and had some solo success with her own hit, “Treat Me Like A Woman” – and former child star Ramona Wulf stepped in to fill the empty spot.

Their first album, but with its second cover

Their first album, but with its second cover

An album called simply “Silver Convention” was released – with a rather risqué cover, depicting a topless woman. It was quickly withdrawn, and after “Save Me” also saw some chart action – the album was renamed “Save Me” (1975) and in the place of the nude woman, a couple of handcuffs was printed. In addition to the afore-mentioned two hits, this album also contained another hit single, “Always Another Girl” and the beautiful ballad “Please Don’t Change The Chords Of This Song”.

Silver Convention was very close to duplicating their no. 1 achievement with the title track from their next album, “Get Up And Boogie” (1976) – but it stalled at no. 2. Still in their first 12 months as a group, they had reached the top 3 of the US Charts twice – a feat unequalled by any other German act before or since! Continuing with their brand of semi-instrumental disco, this album also contains songs like “San Francisco Hustle”, “No No Joe” and “Thank You, Mr. DJ”

Second album

Second album “Get Up And Boogie”

The second album of 1976, “Madhouse” came out maybe too soon after the success of “Get Up And Boogie” and seems to have been a little overlooked at the time of its release. Still it’s a great album, a little more funky than the two preceding ones. Some of the more memorable songs are “Dancing In The Aisle”, “Fancy Party” and “Everybody’s Talking About Love”. After the release of this album, Linda G. Thompson left the Silver Convention and was replaced by the American, New York born Rhonda Heath.

“Madhouse” was their second 1976 album

Silver Convention was chosen to represent Germany in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest, and dressed in pink and purple pant suits, their performance of “Telegram” is still today a highlight of ESC history! They finished in eighth place, but their entry was one of the best that year (and I still think they should have won – no offense to Marie Myriam who did!). That song was included in the fourth album “Summernights” (1977), and this album also contain great songs like “”Blame It On The Music” and “Disco Ball”.


During 1978, Penny Mc Lean also left the group – due to a very successful solo career (see below). She was replaced by Zenda Jacks, about whom not much is known except that she sang with Ramona and Rhonda on their fifth and final album “Love In A Sleeper” (1978). The albums title track was quite a hit, and this album also is the home to great songs like “Acuestate Conmigo” and “Spend The Night With Me”. After another, no-album single called “Cafe Au Lait” b/w “Roller Mania” – Silver Convention as a group was disbanded, and another one of the great disco acts of the 70’s ceased to exist….

Final SC album,

Final SC album, “Love In A Sleeper” had Ramona, Rhonda with new member Zenda Jacks doing the singing

The ladies who at one time of another were members of Silver Convention, also more or less successfully did solo work – before, during and after their time in the group. We’ll take a closer look at what they were up to!

Jackie Carter (born Jaqueline Nemorin): Jackie made a solo album in 1976 called “Treat Me Like A Woman“, from which the title track was a small hit in Germany. She also made some one-off singles, among them “Paint It Black”, “Merry-Go-Round” and “Unsere Welt Will Immer Nur Gewinner Sehen”. She faded from public view in the early 80’s.

Founding member Jackie Carter's solo album from 1976

Founding member Jackie Carter’s solo album from 1976

Ramona Wulf (born 1954 as Ramona Kraft) started her career as early as 1970, and she released a long line of singles as a young girl. Her complete list of solo singles is as follows:

  • 1970 Du – ich brauche was und das bist du / Liebe ist ein schönes Spiel
  • 1971 Alles was wir woll’n auf Erden / Ich muss telefonieren
  • 1971 Merry Christmas / Das Weihnachtsmärchen vom Gänseblümchen
  • 1971 Jeder ist nur eine Hälfte / Kein Prinz, kein Held, kein Millionär
  • 1972 Lieber dich und kein Geld / Weinen ist Silber, Lachen ist Gold
  • 1972 Liebe ist für alle da / Nur Probleme
  • 1972 Wenn du gehst / Party Party
  • 1973 Das weiß der Himmel allein / Zuerst kommst Du
  • 1974 Mama, du tanzt nie Rock’n Roll / Ich glaube, ich habe mich verliebt
  • 1974 Oh, wie so wundersam / Kleine Squaw
  • 1975 Käm doch einmal ein Seemann / Young Love
  • 1975 Sugar Candy Kisses / Liebe heißt das Lied
  • 1976 Save the Last Dance for Me / Baby, it’s the Rain
  • 1977 Natural Man / Teacher
  • 1978 Parlez-moi d’amour / I’ll Never Marry in the Summertime
  • 1979 Boomerang / Come On Over To My Place
  • 1980 Thank You Baby / Cats’ Eyes
  • 1980 4 on the Floor
  • 1983 Flashdance – Tanz im Feuer / Atemlos
  • 1986 Body Beat / Pride and Passion
  • 1988 Heartbeat / Mood to Mood

Outside of Germany, her best known hit is her updated, discofied version of “Save The Last Dance For Me”. It was included on her 1977 album “A Natural Woman“. This is one album that is way overdue for re-release, it is chock full of great songs, like “Teacher”, “Baby, It’s The Rain” and the title song! The album came out in a renewed Version two years later, then called “Parlez-moi D’Amour” – after Ramona had turned Lucienne Boyer’s old chestnut into yet another disco classic. Always noted for her great beauty, the stunning Miss Wulf is the daughter of an American soldier and a German mother.

Ramona Wulf released her best known solo album,

Ramona Wulf released her best known solo album, “A Natural Woman” 1977

Linda G. Thompson (born 1948 as Linda Übelherr): Linda also had worked as a solo before Silver Convention. Way back in the late 60’s, she used the name Gigi and as such put out a German language version of “The Waiting Game” titled “Dann Ging Das Telefon”.

During her time in Silver Convention, she had her biggest solo hit – “Ooh, What A Night” in 1976. Later on more singles followed, such as “Come Softly”, “Never Get Over You” and “Flight To Fantasy”. In 1979 she was one of the participants in the German ESC outtakes, singing the duet “Wochenende” with Jerry Rix.

“Ooh, What A Night” was Linda G. Thompson’s biggest solo hit

Rhonda Heath (born 1955) has had a sporadic and also erratic solo career since her SC days. She has done back-up singing for a lot other artists, she was recording vocals for La Bionda, and was a short time member of La Mama in addition to putting out the odd single and a couple of albums at irregular intervals.

Rhonda Heath - a 2008 photograph

Rhonda Heath – a 2008 photograph

Penny Mc Lean (born 1946 in Austria as Gertrude Wirschinger). I saved the best and biggest for last. The awesome Penny by far had the greatest solo career of all the SC ladies, and she could warrant a blog post all her own. Equipped with an awesome voice, great vivacity and stage charm in abundance, Penny was always the centre of attention in SC.

Penny started out as a recording artist in the mid-60’s in a duo with her husband, they labeled themselves “Holger & Tjorven” and basically sang folk tunes. Penny also at various times used “Barbra”, “Barbie Münzer” as stage names and served time as vocalist in yet another duo, “Barbra & Helmut” as well as in groups “Penny Box” and “Penny Explosion”.

Penny 66

Penny as one part of “Holger & Tjorven”, 1966

European disco Music was forever changed in 1975, when Penny put out her landmark solo hit, “Lady Bump“. It was the title track of her first album. More hits followed; “1-2-3-4 Fire!”, “Devil Eyes” and “Big Bad Boy”. The song started the bump dance craze, it’s incredibly catchy, very well sung – a true classic!

Her classic solo debut album,

Her classic solo debut album, “Lady Bump” came out 1975

Penny released two more albums during 1977 and 1978, titled “Penny” and “Midnight Explosion” respectively. There also were some single hits that never appeared on any of her albums; “Nobody’s Child (1976), “Zwischen Zwei Gefühlen” (1977), “Wild One” (1978), “Tut-Ench Amun” (1979), “Love Is Love” (1980).

Penny didn't sing just disco: This German single from 1977 Places her in a gentle ballad mood

Penny didn’t sing just disco: This German single from 1977 Places her in a gentle ballad mood

In the early 80’s, Penny left the music business behind – and started a new career in numerology and esoteric healing.  This is still today her chosen path. She has written 18 books on different spiritual maters, and is in constant demand for lectures and courses around Germany, Austria and southern Europe. She very rarely performs these days, but has occasionally returned to the stage to sing her old hits at various tribute functions.

The Silver Convention ladies today: Penny’s work is accounted for above, and she has made quite a career for herself in that Field. Healthwise, Penny is not so good; she suffers from an autoimmune deficiency that requires a strict, fat free diet and she is plagued by skeletal pains and an infected liver. She eats only rice, chicken and drinks green tea to avoid pains and discomfort. She jokes that it is “good for the figure, but not always for my mood!”

Ramona Wulf left the music business, married and had children. She also started working within the alternative treatment Field, and since 2001 she has her own psychotherapy clinic in Berlin.

Linda G. Thompson is the only full time musician; she performs at galas and events all over Germany on a regular basis. She is also a teacher at the musical theater IMAL in Munich. She hopes that SIlver Convention one day will get back together and start touring again – but says she’ s sorry she can’t get Penny and Ramona in on that idea….

They have, however, done a few selected performances quite recently. In 2013 the Three of them performed at a function in the Alliierten Museum in Berlin…..

Penny, Ramona and Linda in 2013

Penny, Ramona and Linda in 2013

…. and this year Penny, Rhonda and Ramona did a specially re-written Version of “Thank You, Mr. DJ” at the reception held in honor of Sylvester Levay’s 70th birthday.

Rhonda, Penny and Ramona with Sylvester Levay. Photo taken 2015

Rhonda, Penny and Ramona with Sylvester Levay. Photo taken 2015

Personally, I applaud Linda’s idea of a reunion tour. If that never happens, the facts are clear none the less: Silver Convention will always be remembered – for their music, for the achievements, for their great voices and for all the joy they have brought to millions of fans around the globe for the last 40 years!