Monday’s Music Moves Me: One-Hit Wonders From 1970

I think I need to explain my subject for today’s M4

Today’s theme, as Xmas Dolly says on her webpage, is

November 13th “Our Spotlight Dancer is “The Testosterone Three & Me” , Vandy J. & our theme is “One hit wonders of when you were in high-school”

When I saw this, I had to laugh, because I just did a whole series on Two For Tuesday about musical acts that were popular during my high school years, 1970-1974. And, as an added bonus, my good friend Cathy did a post last week of #1’s by one-hit wonders for 1970-1974. I joked that I was just going to reblog her post and be done with it.

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Seriously, hers is a great post and if you haven’t read it, please do, because you’ll love it.

Now, she covered the #1’s, but, as you can see on this Wikipedia page, there were a whole bunch of songs by one-hit wonders that made the Top 40 during my high school years. In fact, the more I read, the more I realized I could end up with a list of a hundred songs from those years. I went through just the list of songs from 1970 and picked a good deal more than ten. I decided I was going to have to limit myself to just one year at a time. Today, 1970. And, just so you know, I’m not limiting myself to songs that peaked after September 1, which would have been the official start of my high school years. Here are a dozen songs, one for each month, that I liked from 1970 that were done by one-hit wonders.

  1. Crow, “Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me” This song peaked at #19 on January 10. Crow was a blues-rock band from Minneapolis that was active from 1967 to 1972 and reformed in 1980. They’re apparently still going, from what I read.
  2. Eddie Holman, “Hey There Lonely Girl” This peaked at #2 on February 21. The song was originally done by Ruby and the Romantics (“Our Day Will Come”) as “Hey There Lonely Boy.” Eddie had some hits on the R&B charts over the next few years, and is a sure bet to show up on oldies shows to sing this.
  3. The Jaggerz, “The Rapper” This peaked at #2 nationally on March 21 and went higher in selected markets. The Jaggerz are a band from Pittsburgh, PA that has been together since 1964, but had their best days from 1970 to 1977, after which they broke up for about ten years, reforming in 1989 and still going today.
  4. Norman Greenbaum, “Spirit In The Sky” Peaked at #3 on April 18. Note the opening lick sounds an awful lot like ZZ Top’s “LaGrange.” Norman, inspired by Porter Wagoner singing a gospel song on his syndicated TV show, decided “I can do that,” even though he knew nothing about gospel music. He says he wrote the song in about 15 minutes. Despite the fact that the song talks about Jesus, Norman is Jewish.
  5. Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” This peaked at #10 on May 9. It reached #7 on the Cash Box survey, #3 in the UK, and #6 in Canada. Over two million copies have been sold, and the composers, guitarist Junior Campbell and vocalist Dean Ford, received a citation from BMI when the song reached a million airplays in 1998.
  6. White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” The only song to reach its peak in June, it peaked at #13 on the 27th. The song was sung by session singer Tony Burrows, who also sang on Edison Lighthouse’s “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes” (which peaked at #5 on March 28), The Pipkins’ “Gimme Dat Ding” (peaked at #9 on July 18), and was later a member of The Brotherhood of Man, whose one hit, “United We Stand,” peaked at #13 the following week (July 4).
  7. Blues Image, “Ride Captain Ride” The week after “United We Stand” peaked at #13, this song peaked at #4. The first word of the song, “Seventy-three” was the number of keys on composer Mike Pinera’s electric piano. He started with that, and the song evidently “wrote itself.”
  8. Pacific Gas & Electric, “Are You Ready?” Peaked at #14 on August 1. The title track from PG&E’s 1970 album, it was the only hit for them in their seven years of existence. They were a much bigger item on FM, I think.
  9. Hotlegs, “Neanderthal Man” Peaked at #22 on September 26. Hotlegs was a British pop group that would later form the basis for the band 10cc.
  10. Free, “All Right Now” Reached #4 on October 17. Free’s lead singer, Paul Rodgers, would go on to fame and fortune as the lead singer for Bad Company.
  11. 100 Proof (Aged In Soul), “Somebody’s Been Sleeping” Peaked at #8 47 years ago tomorrow. It took me a minute to place this one, but I remember liking it…
  12. The Presidents, “5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years Of Love)” The only one-hit wonder to peak in December 1970, it reached #11 the day after Christmas. The Presidents were a soul band from Washington, DC. Another one I couldn’t place until I heard it.

This was fun. As we get more “freebie” days, I’ll do the rest of my high school years. Maybe even keep going and do the college years. You have been warned!

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for November 13, 2017. Happy birthday, Kip!

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Monday’s Music Moves Me: #1 Hits of the 1980’s

A good while back, I did a post (one of my first, in fact) where I shared the #1 singles from each year in the 1970’s. Today’s a freebie, and I decided to feature the hits from another decade, the 1980’s. I got the song names from The Blogger’s Best Friend, so rather than being just the US hits, these are the ones that hit big worldwide.

1980: Pink Floyd, “The Wall (part 2)” From their album of the same name, which was released in time for Christmas in 1979.
1981: Kim Carnes, “Bette Davis Eyes” This one returns from a few weeks ago, when we were doing songs about eyes. It was written by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon and was on her New Arrangement album.
1982: Survivor, “Eye Of The Tiger” Another song from the “eyes” playlist, it was featured in the Rocky III movie. Again, may I remind you that this featured Berwyn, Illinois’ own Jim Peterik on guitar.
1983: Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon” From their album Colour By Numbers, it was the second single and the most successful, and the only one of their songs to reach #1 in the US.
1984: George Michael, “Careless Whisper” George released this while he was still a member of Wham!, and it was on the band’s Make It Big LP.
1985: Tears For Fears, “Shout” This was the second single from 1985’s Songs From The Big Chair LP, the first being “Everybody’s Trying To Rule The World.” Ironic, because this was the song that ruled the music world in 1985.
1986: Falco, “Rock Me Amadeus” Austrian Jonathan Hölzel, better known as Falco, had an earlier hit, 1981’s “Der Kommissar,” but this was his big hit worldwide, probably because of the video.
1987: Los Lobos, “La Bamba” The title tune for that year’s biopic on the life of Ritchie Valens. Los Lobos had a bigger hit with it than Valens, probably because of the movie.
1988: Phil Collins, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” From that year’s film Buster, which starred Phil Collins. Originally a hit for Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders in late 1965 and early 1966, when it reached #2 in the US and the UK. Phil’s much slower version did a lot better.
1989: Madonna, “Like A Prayer” Title track from The Material Girl’s fourth album. The video raised more than a few Catholic eyebrows and it was condemned by the Vatican, which led Pepsi to cancel her sponsorship contract. Given this was such a huge hit worldwide, you might say she had the last laugh.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for November 6, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Monday’s Music Moves Me: All Hallows’ Eve

Last year, when I did the Hallowe’en M4 post, I said that I was tempted to point out that Hallowe’en is short for “All Hallow’s Eve,” the day before All Saints Day, the day Christians in general and Catholics in particular celebrate the lives of the saints, those holy people who demonstrated heroic faith in their lives. Well, this year, I’m going to do it. Tomorrow is the Feast of All Saints, so here are ten songs with “saint” in the title.

  1. Louis Armstrong, “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In” I played Fats Domino’s version of this a couple of days ago, so here’s Satchmo’s. It’s a Christian hymn that gets done by jazz musicians a lot.
  2. John Parr, “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” Theme song from the ultra-popular mid-Eighties Brat Pack coming-of-age film, it reached #1 for two weeks in September 1985.
  3. Cab Calloway, “St. James Infirmary Blues” Xmas Dolly will like this one, as it’s from the animated feature Betty Boop’s Snow White. As I said a few weeks ago, Max Fleischer was a genius. That’s Koko the Clown that looks like he’s singing it, and the dog character sitting on Betty’s casket is Bimbo.
  4. Eartha Kitt, “St. Louis Blues” The person who created this video added a scene from Ms. Kitt’s first appearance as Catwoman on Batman, but it didn’t detract from her vocal performance, taken from the 1958 biopic of W. C. Handy, which starred her and Nat King Cole. And yes, Billy Preston played Handy as a boy.
  5. Aly Bain with Jerry Douglas and Russ Barenberg, “St. Anne’s Reel” According to this, no one is quite sure where this tune came from, or when it was written, but here’s it’s played by Scottish fiddler Bain, who makes it sound like an Irish reel. It’s also popular among bluegrass players.
  6. David Bowie, “All Saints” From the 1991 release of David’s 1977 album Low, this wasn’t on the original album, but was a bonus track. Sounds like a synthesizer solo by producer Brian Eno.
  7. Chris DeBurgh, “St. Peter’s Gate” From his 1999 album Quiet Revolution. Chris has a pretty amazing catalog of albums, and the only thing I can remember hearing by him was “The Lady In Red.”
  8. Metallica, “Saint Anger” Title track from their 2003 album. I knew someone would suggest it, and added it in advance.
  9. The Rolling Stones, “Saint Of Me” From their 1997 album Bridges To Babylon, it reached #26 in the UK but only #94 in the US. Wikipedia notes that Keith Richards was noticeably absent for this session.
  10. Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, “For All The Saints” I classify this as a Catholic drinking song, even though it was written by William Walsham How, Anglican bishop of Wakefield. The melody is by Vaughan Williams, who called it “Sine Nomine,” literally “Without Name.” The whole song is eleven verses, and can be found on Wikipedia.

Have any more suggestions?

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 30, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Monday’s Music Moves Me: Vehicles!

I don’t know if Xmas Dolly realized this, but we were given two assignments for today: a freebie and songs about vehicles. No problem: here are twelve songs about vehicles, but I wasn’t too fanatical about it, giving the air of a freebie.

  1. Steppenwolf, “Magic Carpet Ride” You are probably flying without a vehicle here, but let’s just go with it…
  2. The Fifth Dimension, “Up, Up and Away” A little Catholic humor: I had a priest friend who told me that, one Ascension Thursday, this was the entrance song.
  3. The Ides of March, “Vehicle” The pride of Berwyn, Illinois, Jim Peterik and The Ides of March were big in the Chicago area, where they had two top 40 singles, but only really had the one, this song, nationally.
  4. Harry Chapin, “Taxi” The master of the story song with his first hit single. When I first heard it in ’72, I just knew I needed some Harry Chapin in my collection.
  5. Blue Öyster Cult, “Born To Be Wild” Already used Steppenwolf, so I thought I’d use one of the better covers of this tune.
  6. Steve Goodman, “City Of New Orleans” Arlo Guthrie had the hit with this, and it’s been covered multiple times, but the best is the original, by the late, great Steve Goodman.
  7. Kathy Mattea, “Eighteen Wheels and A Dozen Roses” I don’t listen to a lot of country, but this is a beautiful tune by the beautiful Ms. Mattea about a trucker who’s headed home to stay after thirty years on the road.
  8. James Cotton, “Rocket 88” Former Muddy Waters harmonicist James Cotton gives us this one about his souped-up Delta 88. They don’t make Delta 88’a, or any Oldsmobiles for that matter, any more.
  9. Little Walter, “Flying Saucer” From another former Muddy Waters sidekick, this is a rather cool instrumental piece. I can’t tell if Walter is switching back and forth from diatonic to chromatic harmonica in this or if it’s just the really cool effects they added to this one, but I think you’ll agree, it rocks pretty hard.
  10. The Hollies, “Bus Stop” Their first Top 10 single in the US, it peaked at #5. They do some remarkable harmonies, don’t they?
  11. Steve Miller Band, “Jet Airliner” I would have stopped at ten, then I thought of this, from Steve’s 1977 Book of Dreams LP. A staple of classic rock radio stations, I could count on hearing it at least once a day on the local one.
  12. Jerry Reed, “Eastbound and Down” From the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, sung and played (that’s his guitar solo in the middle) by Jerry Reed, who drove an eighteen-wheeler in the movie. Or at least it looked that way.

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 23, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Monday’s Music Moves Me: Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Today would have been my parents’ 63rd wedding anniversary. In honor of the day, here are some hits from October of 1954. I worked off the chart built by TSoft and picked the highest-ranking songs for the month.

  1. The Chordettes, “Mister Sandman” Their best-known song, it reached #1 on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts in October 1954, spending twenty and twenty-three weeks (respectively) on those charts.
  2. Kitty Kallen, “Little Things Mean A Lot” One night, I was watching the Braves game, and Skip Caray (son of Harry) tried to sing this to describe how the Braves were doing the little things to win. It reached #1 in Australia and spent five weeks on their chart.
  3. Don Cornell, “Hold My Hand” From the 1954 film Susan Slept Here starring Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds. It was nominated for an Academy Award that year (the song, not the movie). Cornell’s version reached #1 in the UK and spent five weeks there.
  4. Rosemary Clooney, “This Ole House” This was the flip side to her previous hit, “Hey There.” It reached #1 in the UK after reaching #1 in the US earlier that year. The bass voice is provided by Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger, spokescartoon for Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes (now Kellogg’s Golden Flakes) all these years.
  5. Perry Como, “Papa Loves Mambo” The best-known version of this, it was released in August and peaked at #4 in October.
  6. Doris Day, “If I Give My Heart To You” Accompanied by The Mellotones. Doris reached #4 on the Disk Jockey chart, #4 on the Best Seller chart, and #3 on the Juke Box chart in October.
  7. Dean Martin, “Sway” Only reached #15 on the Billboard chart, but went to #6 in the UK in October.
  8. De Castro Sisters, “Teach Me Tonight” The DeCastros were raised in Havana in a family mansion which was later seized by Fidel Castro and is now the Chinese Embassy. Originally, “Teach Me Tonight” was the B side, with “It’s Love” as the A side, but Cleveland disc jockey Bill Randall flipped the record over and it became the big hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard in October 1954.
  9. Vera Lynn, “My Son, My Son” Her only hit in the UK, it reached #1 in October.
  10. Petula Clark, “The Little Shoemaker” The Gaylords also had a hit with this in the US, but this turned out to be Petula Clark’s first #1 hit in the UK. It reached #1 in Australia for two weeks in October.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. I love you both and miss you more than I can say.

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 16, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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