Thursday, September 29, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 26

We're nearly halfway through of our feature of artists who enjoyed their biggest hit with their first:

"Blue Moon"

This group scored a huge hit in 1961 with this #1 song of three weeks.  They were able to get to #7 later in the year with "Heartaches", but they are best known for this great song.

Little Peggy March
"I Will Follow Him"

This artist from Lansdale, Pennsylvania took a song adapted from the French tune "Chariot" to go to #1 in 1963 with this monster hit.  When it reached the top, Peggy became the youngest female artist to have a #1 song on the Popular charts--she had just turned 15 two weeks before.

"Last Night"

This band formed in Memphis in 1958 from studio musicians at Stax Records.  Guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn later joined Booker T. & the MG's; Cropper became an accomplished producer.  In 1961, the Mar-Keys released this song, which is still one of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*.

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
"Good Vibrations"

Marky Mark is actor Mark Wahlberg, who is best known for his role in the great movie Broken City, tried his hand at recording for two years, and went to #1 in 1991 with this song.  His follow-up, "Wildside" got to #10, but Wahlberg was never able to reach the Top 40 after that.

"Please Mr. Postman"

If you went to Inkster High School in Inkster, Michigan in the '50s, you may have been classmates with this famous trio.  Their first release in 1961 went to #1 and also was the first song on the Motown label to reach the top.

Barbara Mason
"Yes, I'm Ready"

This artist hit #5 with this song in 1965.  She had 10 other hits, but the best she could do after her initial hit was #27.

Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra
"Love Is Blue"

The artists in this feature set the bar high with their first release.  This artist set it super high, recording one of the all-time classics and The #1 Instrumental of the Rock Era*.  We heard back from him two other times, but neither of them made the Top 40.

Van McCoy
"The Hustle"

Van McCoy was active behind the mixing board, producing the Stylistics, the Shirelles and Gladys Knight.  In 1975, he hit #1 with one of the first Disco songs to go that high.  It sold over one million copies, but didn't help him reach the Top 40 again.

the McCoys
"Hang On Sloopy"

Guitarist Rick Derringer was a part of this group from Union City, Indiana.  They too reached #1 on their first effort.  Their follow-up, "Fever" made it to #7, but nothing else the McCoys did was in the same ballpark as "Hang On Sloopy".

George McCrae
"Rock Your Baby"

Gwen McCrae was the singer in this family, but husband George released this solo effort in 1974 and took the world by storm.  It sold over 11 million copies and is the top-selling single of that decade.  But George wasn't able to translate that into another big hit.

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