The Friday 5×2: 1979 One-Hit Wonders

Well, here we are at the end of the Seventies in our survey of one-hit wonders. I had intended on continuing through the Eighties, then looked at the songs and realized I couldn’t remember that many. In short, we’re at the end. And the crowd roars its approval…

  1. Nicolette Larson, “Lotta Love” Nicolette had a great voice and was quite lovely, as you can see, so it was a surprise to learn she only had the one pop hit, which reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. She had a hit in 1986 with “That’s How You Know Love’s Right” with Steve Wariner that reached #9 on the Country chart. She married Russ Kunkel, drummer for The Section (James Taylor’s backup band) in 1990 and had one child with him, then died in 1999.
  2. Bobby Caldwell, “What You Won’t Do For Love” A tune that still receives considerable airplay on smooth jazz stations, it was Bobby’s only pop hit, reaching #9 on the Hot 100, #6 on the R&B chart, and #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  3. Randy VanWarmer, “Just When I Needed You Most” Randy’s one big hit was this one, which reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. He wrote several songs for The Oak Ridge Boys, including their #1 hit, “I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes.” Randy passed awway in 2004 of leukemia.
  4. David Naughton, “Makin’ It” David Naughton started out doing Dr Pepper commercials (“I’m a Pepper, you’re a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, wouldn’tcha like to be a Pepper, too?”) then landed a role on the short-lived sitcom Makin’ It (lasted all of nine episodes). The theme song entered the Top 40 two months after the show was canceled, and peaked at #5.
  5. Nick Lowe, “Cruel To Be Kind” Nick Lowe is a highly successful singer, songwriter, and producer in the UK, but had limited success in the US. This song reached #12 and was his only US hit.
  6. The Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star” The Buggles were a New Wave band that were led by bassist and vocalist Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoffrey Downes. The song only reached #40 in the US but was #1 in much of the rest of the world, and is best remembered as the first music video played on the nascent MTV Network in 1982. Downes left the band to help Steve Howe form the band Asia the day they were due to go into the studio to record their second album.
  7. Anita Ward, “Ring My Bell” Despite Steve Dahl’s declaration that disco was dead, it was still a force in 1979. Anita Ward was a schoolteacher in Tennessee when she signed with TK Records. The owner of the label, Frederick Knight, had written this as a teen song about talking on the telephone, and Ms. Ward was reluctant to do it. They rewrote the lyrics to be more (ahem) “adult,” and she recorded it. It reached #1 in the US, Canada, and the UK, and was her only hit.
  8. Nigel Olsson, Dancin’ Shoes” Elton John’s longtime drummer had recorded a number of singles since 1971, but this was the first and only one to reach the Top 20. It peaked at #18 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  9. Tycoon, “Such A Woman” New York City-based Tycoon recorded two albums for Arista Records, and released this as their one and only single. It reached #26.
  10. Herman Brood, “Saturdaynight” Dutch artist and rocker Brood typified the “live fast, die young” lifestyle. This was his only Top 40 hit in the US, and it only reached #35. It was from his second studio album, 1978’s Shpritsz, considered by many to be the fourth-best Dutch album of all time.

And that is your Friday 5×2 for January 5, 2018.


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

8 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: 1979 One-Hit Wonders”

  1. I don’t recognize these. Maybe because the late 70s was a series of one-hit-wonders for me. Me and the ex moved five times in five years (then I filed for divorce).


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