Thursday, September 22, 2022

Break out the 45s ~ National One-Hit Wonder Day is coming!


Break out YouTube or Spotify and take yourself back on Sunday, September 25th. It's National One-Hit Wonder Day.

When I think of one-hit wonders, my brain usually goes straight to "Sunglasses at Night" sung by Corey Hart or "Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners. They both came out in my formative musical years of junior high, which is probably why I remember them first.

But as I was doing research--looking at lists of one-hit wonders from various decades--I was reminded of so many songs I enjoyed growing up, as well as songs I didn't discover until the last five or six years when I explored musical genres a little more.

There were a couple of songs that seemed to end up on most of the lists I checked out. "Take On Me" by A-Ha for one as well as "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies that I heard even before "Sunglasses at Night" and "Come on Eileen."

What surprised me most during my trip down musical memory lane was which songs were actually one hit wonders. I like music a lot, but I'm not a connoisseur. Meaning I enjoy the musical experience but I don't generally follow / track the musician, the albums, the musical trajectories, etc. I've bought very few albums in my life, because I could never see spending $15 to have access to a single song I really enjoyed. The advent of iTunes (and other platforms like them) and the ability to buy a single song was amazing to me. To this day I ask for iTunes gift cards--alas, I haven't gotten one in ages.

Did you know that "Me and Mrs. Jones" by Billy Paul, "Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum, "Wipe Out" by The Surfaris, and "Monster Mash" by Bobby Boris Pickett and the Crypt Kickers were all one-hit wonders? Apparently they were. Who knew? lol

There were quite a few others from my junior high and high school years, but I won't bore you with a rundown of those song titles.

It seems like most of the original lists I looked at didn't include country music. Which--why not?

But they didn't, so I looked up those as well and would you believe, Billy Ray Cyrus's hit, "Achey, Breaky Heart" was listed. I was surprised by that, but according to one list, the massive fame of that one song took its toll on Bill Ray and it took him decades to really recover.

Of course, many online entities (Rolling Stone, EW, Spotify, etc) have their own thoughts on which one-hit wonders are the best. And, again, many list several of the same songs, especially the classics from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

I had intended to pick a favorite, but alas I don't think I can. I did want to leave you with a song to listen to if you were so inclined. It was tough to choose just one, but I opted to leave with this:

"Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin, not Bob Marley...

Have a super weekend.


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