Syl Johnson is an American funk, soul, and blues institution. He recorded for Vee Jay Records in the very late 1950s before debuting as a solo artist in 1959 on Federal Records. The early part of the 1960s saw a cascade of Syl Johnson releases on 45, on labels including Zachron, Cha Cha, and Ember. In the decade's latter half, Johnson worked tirelessly for Chicago's Twinight record label. Dresses Too Short, Johnson's debut LP, was released by Twinight in 1968; Syl followed that up with 1970's Is It Because I'm Black?, the apex of his artistry and social consciousness to that point. Syl spent the bulk of the 1970s as a labelmate to Al Green, recording a deluge of 45s and LPs for Memphis's Hi Records. He closed out that decade with 1979's disco-infused Uptown Shakedown featuring the hip numbers "Mystery Lady" and "Let's Dance for Love" plus a killer Otis Redding Medley for good measure.