The unofficial debut of hip-hop on vinyl, the novelty hit "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang proved to be much more than a one-hit wonder (for the music, if not for the group). The single was masterminded by Sylvia Robinson, a soul singer (one-half of Mickey & Sylvia) and owner of the fledgling Sugar Hill Records from Englewood, NJ. After hearing the sound blowing up in New York during the late '70s, she conceived the idea of issuing a single based on the music. Her son Joey began rounding up talent, beginning with Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson, who he'd heard rhyming over a rap by Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers. According to published accounts, after Robinson auditioned Jackson outside the pizzeria he was working at, the other two future members of the group -- Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien -- saw the display and asked to audition as well. Within a few days, the newly christened Sugarhill Gang entered the studio and recorded a series of lengthy raps over a session band's recreation of the recent disco hit "Good Times" by Chic. By the summer of 1979, "Rapper's Delight" was all over R&B radio, to the consternation of many of the music's pioneers in the Bronx and Brookyln, who'd never heard of the New Jersey trio with (comparatively) wack rhymes -- some lifted wholesale from other MCs. Still, the single hit the Top 40 in America and reached the Top Ten in such far-flung locales as England, Israel, South Africa, and Canada. Twenty years later, dozens of rappers go platinum each year, and the hip-hop industry has steadily eclipsed rock as the number one style of music among youth, if not the entire populace. "Rapper's Delight" was not the first rap record -- the credit goes to "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" by the funk band Fatback, released just months before -- but more than any other, the single launched the hip-hop craze and introduced the world to the major musical innovation during the last two decades of the 20th century.