Observations and Ramblings From a Cranky Old Guy (the Videos)
Written by Jeff Spaulding on October 22, 2019
OBSERVATIONS AND RAMBLINGS FROM A CRANKY OLD GUY
Greeting and salutations, let’s have a little fun with this.
I don’t think there is anything more mystifying in music through the ages as the concept of the “One Hit Wonder.”
It’s those special times where a solo artist, duo or group release a song as a single that SO captivates the world they are forever linked to that song, due to the content, the lyrics, the feeling, or just a simple hook that makes it irresistible.
Then the next release stiffs, maybe because it is not the same feel as the original hit, or perhaps main (favorite) members of the original group change, or egos arise in the group, or someone in the group dies (the total bummer, but now that song is even MORE immortalized).
There is NO better example of this than the 1996 film “That Thing You Do,” a fictionalized tale of such a band, “The Wonders”.
And there IS a “One Hit Wonder” connection to the actual musicians who recorded as “The Wonders” too, more on that later.
The song is itself is the best Beatles song ever recorded since Yoko broke up the group.
That’s the prelude to today, this past September 25th (and celebrated every year) was “National One Hit Wonder Day,” a time to salute those great songs in history, and the acts who unfortunately couldn’t get it done after chart success.
Art Fredette and I had a chat about the day, so this time, I’ll post random songs from the Fifties to today to sample how these songs held us captive for some reason or another.
Here we go.
1959 – “Sea Cruise” by Frankie Ford
Originally written by New Orleans R & B group Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns, the only song in history where the Queen Mary plays rhythm…
1957 – “Get a Job” by The Silhouettes
Rumor has it Bowzer’s tribute group got the band’s name based on this song
1966 – “96 Tears” by Question Mark and the Mysterians
ANYONE can play that organ riff, kudos to Garland Jeffreys for a great cover too.
1966 – “Dirty Water” by The Standells
Wonderful “sounds of the street” tune about Beantown, but it’s that riff (bomp bomp bomp BOMP bomp bomp).
1970 – “Vehicle” by Ides of March
Not Chicago, not Blood Sweat and Tears, but a GREAT horn-based Rock Band, and those five notes MAKE the song (bomp bomp BOMP bomp bah)!
1977 – ”Black Betty” by Ram Jam
SO much to love here, the guitar riff, “Bam a Lam,” or “Black Betty Had a Child,” priceless.
1984 – “The Curly Shuffle” by Jump in the Saddle Band
Sorry, personal favorite…pick two…
1986 – “The Rain” by Oran “Juice” Jones
My favorite stalker song, plus I love the use of the words “Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.”
1999 – “Mambo #5” by Lou Bega
Personally, I would love to hear Mambo’s 1-4…
1990 – “Groove Is in The Heart” by Deee-Lite
A song to show Millennials what taking acid was all about.
2000 – Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men
If Arsenio Hall had not been popular at the time would this have still been a hit?
2003 – “Stacey’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne.
One of the guys in the band wrote/produced and sang on “That Thing You Do.” In this case, a fair song…BUT THAT VIDEO!!!!!
2011 – “Teach Me How to Dougie” by Cali Swag District
Proving a One Hit Wonder does NOT have to be good…
2013 – “Harlem Shake” by Baauer
The SOLE appeal of this was to have non-performing idiots upload videos of their friends and co workers “dancing” to this song, one of the greatest low point in the country’s history, for the record, we did a version in out radio station news room, you can probably find it on You Tube but I wouldn’t suggest it.
This is SO FAR from a complete list, and in truth there are so many other One Hit Wonders missing. What are yours? Pass them along to me, maybe in a future edition we can do this again.
Thanks for listening.
Be hearing you!