Monday, September 26, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 21

Bill Justis and His Orchestra

This leader of the house band for Sun Records charted for the first time with this outstanding instrumental which went to #2 and sold over one million copies.  But he could never get higher than #42 after that.

Bert Kaempfert
"Wonderland By Night"

This multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, producer and arranger from Hamburg, Germany wrote "Strangers In The Night" for Frank Sinatra and "Spanish Eyes" for Al Martino.  He produced the first Beatles recording session.  In 1960, Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra went all the way to #1 in 1961 with this great instrumental.  He reached #11 with his version of "Red Roses For A Blue Lady" but the is the best he would do after his first hit.

"Too Shy"

This English group began under the name Art Nouveau but after a recording failed to generate interest, auditioned for a new lead singer.  Christopher Hamill, who went by the stage name of Limahl (an anagram of his surname), won the job, and Kajagoogoo hit #5 with "Too Shy" in 1983.  Internal dissention caused the group to fire Limahl soon after, and they never reached the Top 40 again.

Kalin Twins

Herbert and Harold Kalin reached #5 with "When" in 1958.  They got as high as #12 with "Forget Me Not" after that, but nothing else reached the Top 40.

Ini Kamoze
"Here Comes The Hotstepper"

This Kingston, Jamaica artist went to #1 with this big hit from 1994, which sold over two million copies.  But Kamoze never scored another big hit after his first.

Katrina and the Waves
"Walking On Sunshine"

With a big hit in 1985, this London group appeared to be on their way.  They had another noteworthy song ("Do You Want Crying") later in the year, but never found the Top 10 again.

KC and the Sunshine Band
"Get Down Tonight"

This Florida act capitalized on the Disco craze to generate 17 hits from 1975 to 1983.  Their first release, "Get Down Tonight", went to #1.  They scored five other Top 2 songs:  the #1's "That's The Way (I Like It)", "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty", "I'm Your Boogie Man" and "Please Don't Go" and  the #2 "Keep It Comin' Love".  In 2016, those other four are fairly close in sustained popularity, but its the first one that remains their biggest hit.

Ernie K-Doe

This New Orleans singer-songwriter hit #1 with this comedic hit.  Ernie became a One-Hit Wonder, as he was never able to reach the Top 40 again.

Tara Kemp
"Hold You Tight"

This classically-trained pianist from San Francisco signed with Giant Records and landed one of the biggest hits of 1991 with "Hold You Tight".  Her follow-up, "Piece Of My Heart" got as high as #7, but nothing Tara has recorded matched her debut.

"Tell Me Something Good"

This song written by Stevie Wonder kickstarted the career of Rufus in 1974 with #3 smash and Gold record.  Rufus also hit the Top 5 two years later with "Sweet Thing" but never matched their debut.  Lead singer Chaka Khan went on to enjoy a successful solo career that included the 1984 hit "I Feel For You".

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