Saturday, September 17, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part Five

Here are 10 more artists whose biggest hit of the Rock Era came with their first single release:


Another of the biggest One-Hit Wonders was this Swedish group from Jönköping.  "Lovefool" got a lot of airplay in 1997, but it was the first and only song from the Cardigans that ever got any attention.

Eric Carmen
"All By Myself"

Many of the artists featured in this series are One-Hit Wonders; they had that one big hit and then never came close to the Top 40 again.  This artist is one who first enjoyed success with the Raspberries with "Go All The Way" and "I Wanna' Be With You".  After leaving that act, Cleveland, Ohio's Eric Carmen began a solo career with a single release based on Rachmaninov's "Piano Concert No. 2".  In the album version of the song featured above, he plays a portion of that piece in the middle portion of the song.  The song rose to #2 for three weeks and went Gold.  

Carmen went on to release a slew of quality songs, some Top 10's ("Hungry Eyes" and "Make Me Lose Control", and several very underrated songs, such as "Never Gonna' Fall In Love Again", "Sunrise", "Nowhere To Hide", "Boats Against The Current", and others.

Cathy Carr
"Ivory Tower"

Carr hit #2 with "Ivory Tower" in 1956.  She landed in the Top 100 three other times, but the best she could do after her big hit was #42.

Vikki Carr
"It Must Be Him"

Vikki Carr was a regular on The Ray Anthony Show.  When she signed a recording contract with Liberty Records in 1962 and recorded "He's A Rebel", producer Phil Spector heard it and immediately had a song recorded billed to the Crystals which became the hit.  Carr first enjoyed success in 1967 with the #3 song "It Must Be Him".  

"Rhythm Of The Rain"

This group went to #3 with this great song, which was also a #1 Easy Listening hit.  They reached the Top 100 four other times, but none of those efforts came close to their first release.

Shaun Cassidy
"Da Doo Ron Ron"

The son of actor Jack Cassidy and actress Shirley Jones of the television show The Partridge Family also starred on The Hardy Boys.  His first single release, a remake of "Da Doo Ron Ron", reached #1 in 1977.  He did manage two more Top 10's--"That's Rock 'N' Roll" and "Hey Deanie", both written by Eric Carmen.

Peter Cetera
"Glory Of Love"

In 1986, the movie The Karate Kid Part II caught on, and Peter Cetera, former lead singer of Chicago, was invited to sing the theme for the movie.  He vaulted to #1 for two weeks.  Cetera's duet with Amy Grant, "The Next Time I Fall", also hit #1, but wasn't as big of a hit.  Cetera also scored Top 10 hits with "One Good Woman" and "After All", a duet with Cher.

Chairmen of the Board
"Give Me Just A Little More Time"

In 1970, this R&B act hit #3 with this great song.  After that, the best they could do was #13 with "Pay To The Piper".  General Norman Johnson, one of the members of this group, wrote "Patches", which Clarence Carter turned into a big hit in 1972. 

Chambers Brothers
"Time Has Come Today"

After playing at the Ash Grove in Los Angeles, this group came into contact with Barbara Dane, among others.  Dane became a big fan of the group, inviting them on tour with her and introducing them to influential folk singer Pete Seeger.  Seeger in turn helped the Chambers Brothers land a spot in the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.  They were so impressive that it led to the release of their debut album.  Here's a highly-underrated #11 song from 1968 from the Chambers Brothers.  Their next-best release was a #37 song.


This L.A. group was named after Gene Autry's horse, Champ.  Their first release was a monster #1 of five weeks, "Tequila".  After recording the song, their membership changed and included Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts (who later formed Seals & Crofts) and Glen Campbell.  Seven trips to the Top 100 after "Tequila" failed to match that smash, as most songs would.

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