jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Wednesday 6th January 2021
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
’70s One-Hit Wonders Giving Us All Kinds Of nostalgia trips
I was reminiscing about some of the 1970s One Hit Wonders. There were some really good ones. No matter what your age 5 or 105 I bet you’ve danced along to at least one of these 14 One Hit Wonders from the ‘70s. And I bet can sing along to many more of them. There will be another 14 tomorrow.
- Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
It’s safe to say that there’s no chance you haven’t danced to this. It’s simply an impossibility. But before funk one-hit wonders Wild Cherry conquered the charts in 1976 and made hips sway, they were a hard rockin’ band that just couldn’t catch a break.
The idea for the song came when they were playing at a club to a less than responsive audience. Someone shouted the now infamous line at them. Band frontman Rob Parissi was listening, and the idea stuck. All it took was a genre shift!
- Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas
This one-hit wonder is just that special and widely known that you’re bound to recognize it from the first two seconds. That’s the mark of true songwriting gold. It features what is known in music as the ‘Oriental riff,’ instantly defining something as East Asian in the American imagination.
One-hit wonder singer Carl Douglas had a wildly successful hit with this 1974 single. It capitalized on the popularity of Hong Kong kung fu movies, whose greatest star, Bruce Lee, had just passed away. You can’t really detect the accent, but Carl Douglas is from Jamaica.
- In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry
Even if the oddly-named British band Mungo Jerry are remembered as one-hit wonders in music history, they’re probably not too sad about it. After all, their debut single “In the Summertime”, released in 1970, is one of the top singles of all time.
Snatching the top space on music charts around the world, it’s been splashed all over film and television spots. But besides the carefree, almost goofy nature of the tune, there’s one big request we have. Those intimidating mutton chops? Please don’t try to bring that look back.
- Ring My Bell – Anita Ward
R&B crooner Frederick Knight wrote this tune, having in mind teens who were chitchatting on the phone as his inspiration. It was intended to be sung by singer Stacy Lattisaw, until she signed on with a different label. In came Anita Ward.
Anita Ward became a one-hit wonder as her 1979 version of the song snatched up the spot on Soul Singles charts and the Billboard Hot 100. Listeners interpreted its lyrics as being suggestive, which rubbed Anita the wrong way — her background was in the church.
- Got To Be Real – Cheryl Lynn
This disco one-hit wonder has appeared in so many films, TV shows, and other pop culture references that it’s practically dizzying. Cheryl Lynn’s 1979 disco tune was enormously successful well beyond the era that created it. So what does she have in common with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross?
Several years before her song hit the airwaves, Cheryl Lynn had gained a major start in her music career by performing in the stage version of The Wiz. As her song climbed the charts, the film version with Jackson and Ross was just being released.
- Venus – Shocking Blue
Today, you know it from lady’s shaving razors commercials, and you know it from the Bananarama version. And if memory serves, you’ll know the original version from 1970. But did you know the band that sings this ode to a Roman goddess (or…”godness”?) is Dutch?
If that accent sounds a bit peculiar, and if you noticed some of the pronunciation is a bit off, now you’ll know why. This psychedelic song that bids farewell to the groove of the ’60s shot to the top of the charts in nine countries.
- All Right Now – Free
With all due respect to Free, having just one hit single was probably not crushing for them. After all, they’re one of the best-selling blues rock groups in Britain. They disbanded shortly after getting that hit single, but with a cool 20 million albums sold worldwide – no big deal!
They wrote it in the student union building on campus at Durham University in northern England. Free found incredible success at a ridiculously young age: the youngest member, bass player Andy Fraser, was just 17 years old when he and his band became one-hit wonders.
- Magic – Pilot
Have you ever had this song’s simple chorus pop into your head while watching a magic show? Well, we certainly have. Pilot was Scotland’s finest, and their hit sold almost one million copies. It was certified gold less than a year after having been released in 1974.
Though “Magic” climbed to #5 in the US, their next hit “January” was only a big deal in the UK. There’s a chance you’ve heard this without even realizing it: the song took off once again in 2007 when it was used for a Pillsbury commercial!
- Love Hurts – Nazareth
This pained song, which certainly played in your head through all of your past breakups, is actually a cover. While it’s by no means the first one of its kind, it was without a doubt the most memorable and the most commercially successful.
Scottish rock band Nazareth’s power ballad made it to the Top 10 in the US. It also made #1 in Norway and the Netherlands. Lead singer Dan McCafferty squeezed every ounce of emotion he could out of the tune with his gritty yell over what’s actually a fairly soft song.
- Turn The Beat Around – Vicki Sue Robinson
Long before Gloria Estefan gave this tune a seriously spicy Cuban makeover, New York singer Vicki Sue Robinson had herself a big hit back in 1976. She toured the nation to promote her song, as it quickly ate up the disco charts at home and abroad.
This one-hit wonder singer didn’t have any more chart toppers, but she certainly spent her time well. She backed up Irene Cara on the hit tune “Fame”, and spent the 1980s working alongside such A-list artists as Cher and Michael Bolton. Not too shabby!
- Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
That opening guitar riff is just unforgettable. It’s a song that has been number 1 three separate times through three separate artists, but the original one was from Norman Greenbaum. He says he saw Porter Waggoner singing gospel on TV, was inspired, and thought he could definitely do it.
He penned it in just 15 minutes and hey presto, a one-hit wonder was born. But the funniest part is the singer’s own background. For a famous hippie ode to Jesus, Norman Greenbaum was actually raised in an Orthodox Jewish home!
- Feelings – Morris Albert
The title says it all. In 1975, this weepy song was practically impossible to escape. Though the singer, Brazilian Morris Albert, would face copyright backlash for improvising on a tune written by French composer Loulou Gasté, the public didn’t seem to mind.
“Feelings” has been covered across the ages by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Julio Iglesias. It’s taken on its own life as one of the greatest ballads of the ’70s. Nina Simone, playing it live at Montreux, remarked on how sad someone must be to have to write such lyrics.
Haven’t seen your favorite ’70s one-hit wonder on the list? Have no fear — it’s right up ahead.
- My Sharona – The Knack
It’s got that unforgettably simple but catchy three-chord riff that’s in exact rhythm with the drums and bass, and we can’t get enough. The top song of 1979 was an easy No. 1, and they had another single lined up called “Good Girls Don’t.” But then came the backlash.
The Knack had some serious haters who quelled their triumph. They were accused of being ‘Beatles rip-offs’, and people thought the song was creepy and referring to underaged girls. “San Francisco artist Hugh Brown launched a ‘Knuke the Knack’ campaign,’ and the band was resigned to one-hit-wonder status.
- Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks
With that glimmering, sunny, shimmering guitar reverb, we all remember this 1974 tune for all the wrong reasons. Once you pay a bit of attention to the lyrics, you realize it’s actually a real bummer of a song. Why oh why does everything have to end?
It’s actually a translation of French-language crooner Jacques Brel, whose original version was also, unsurprisingly, rather gloomy. Terry Jacks recorded the tune with his wife. So, this one-hit wonder was written by a Belgian, translated and reworked by an American, sang and popularized by a Canadian.
Look out for 14 more tomorrow and see how many you know.
TOP TEN OF THE DAY
The iconic sci-fi character topped the list of the franchise’s greatest villains, securing 33 percent of the overall vote.
Huw Fullerton, RadioTimes.com’s sci-fi and fantasy editor, said: “Never underestimate the power of the Dark Side.
“Over 40 years after he first wheezed his way onto our screens, it’s clear that ‘Star Wars’ fans’ faith in Lord Vader remains stronger than ever, with a third of the thousands who voted picking him as their favourite villain from the series.
“‘Star Wars’ films and TV series may come and go, but Darth Vader will always be the ultimate villain. Truly, he is the Master.”
Sheev Palpatine – the character played by Ian McDiarmid in multiple ‘Star Wars’ films – came in second place on the list, with 18 percent of the vote.
Elsewhere, Darth Maul – another of the franchise’s most iconic characters – claimed six percent of the votes, alongside Grand Admiral Thrawn and Boba Fett.
The poll was released shortly after Dave Prowse – who played Darth Vader in the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy – died aged 85.
The former bodybuilder passed away in November, and his co-star Mark Hamill subsequently paid a glowing tribute to him.
The actor said on Twitter: “So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him. #RIP (sic)”
The greatest ‘Star Wars’ villains, according to RadioTimes.com’s poll:
- Darth Vader: 33 per cent
- The Emperor: 18 per cent
- Grand Admiral Thrawn: 6 per cent
- Darth Maul: 6 per cent
- Boba Fett: 6 per cent
- General Grievous: 4 per cent
- Greedo: 4 per cent
- Moff Gideon: 4 per cent
- Kylo Ren: 3 per cent
- Grand Moff Tarkin: 3 per cent
DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH EVERYDAY
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.”
— Jodie Foster
Happiness is…dancing to 1970s one hit wonders.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
What do you call a French guy flying a plane? A pilot.
Love is…listening to her whilst she talks…and talks…and talks…and talks.
A time to bathe in nostalgia…A time to live in the moment.
LOCKDOWN 3 Starts today, schools closed yesterday until at least February half term.
©2021 Phil M Robinson