Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 24

What these 10 artists have in common is that they all enjoyed popular first hits that set the standard for them.  They were never able to match them again.

Gary Lewis and the Playboys
"This Diamond Ring"

The son of classic comedian Jerry Lewis formed a rock group in 1964, and they played often at Disneyland that year.  Their first release went to #1 in 1965 and sold over one million records.  Gary Lewis and the Playboys were one of the most successful artists you'll see among these 500 or so artists.  They had 15 hits in their career, and their first seven all landed in the Top 10.  Though they were close to their #1 with several, including "Count Me In", "Save Your Heart For Me" and "She's Just My Style", their first hit was their biggest.

"One Fine Morning"

Here's a Toronto, Canada group who scored this highly underrated #24 hit in 1971.  It was the best of five charting songs for Lighthouse, whose saxophonist, Howard Shore, went on to become the first musical director of the television show Saturday Night Live.

Bob Lind
"Elusive Butterfly"

Another great song here is from 1966, the first hit for Bob Lind.  Lind is another artist who never reached the Top 40 afterwards.

Lipps, Inc.

producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steven Greenberg organized this funk project in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Lipps, Inc. (pronounced lip-synch) had a monster hit with this one, reaching #1 for four weeks in 1980 and selling two million copies.

Little Eva
"The Loco-Motion"

In 1962, this young woman was babysitting for legendary songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin.  The couple realized that their babysitter had some vocal ability and they wrote this song for her, in which Carole sings backing vocals on.  Little Eva took the song to #1, her only Top 10 hit.

Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
"Stay (I Missed You)"

Actor Ethan Hawke discovered this band, helping them secure a recording contract.  The group climbed to #1 for three weeks in 1994 with this great song.  Their next-best song was a #18 hit.

Dave Loggins
"Please Come To Boston"

Talent runs in the family--here's the cousin of superstar Kenny Loggins, who scored a #1 Adult and a #5 Popular smash in 1974 with his first hit.  Dave was never able to reach the Top 40 again.

Julie London
"Cry Me A River"

Julie London, who starred in the television series Emergency, landed a #9 hit in 1956 with her only charting song.

Laurie London
"He's Got The Whole World (In His Hands)"

In 1958, Laurie London enjoyed a huge hit with her recording of the traditional Afro-American Gospel song.  It rose to #4 for four weeks for him, but Laurie was never able to translate that success into another hit.

"I've Been Thinking About You"

One of the great Dance songs in this feature is this one from Londonbeat.  They weren't a group from London, but rather a trio of Americans who scored a #1 smash in 1991.  They were able to reach #18 with a follow-up but nothing close after that.

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