Sunday, September 18, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part Six

We continue with 10 more artists who landed a big first hit and it became their magnum opus:

Gene Chandler
"Duke Of Earl"

After his service in the United States Army, this great artist released his first single within two years.  "Duke Of Earl" reached #1 and sold over one million copies.  Chandler scored several other R&B hits, but his next-best Popular song was "Groovy Situation", also a Gold record that peaked at #12.

Bruce Channel
Hey!  Baby

Delbert McClinton ("Giving It Up For Your Love") played harmonica on this early Rock Era classic.  It went to #1 for three weeks, but Channel's best after that was #52.


The name of this huge 1963 hit by a Santa Ana, California surf-rock quintet refers to the curl of a wave before it breaks.  It was their only Top 100 hit.

Don Cherry
"Band Of Gold"

After leaving the U.S. military, this artist studied voice.  He scored a #4 hit in 1956 with his first single release, by far his biggest career hit, and also was a successful professional golfer.  Cherry played on three Walker Cup teams (1953-, 1955 and 1961) and in nine Masters Tournaments, making the cut seven times with his best finish a tie for #25 in 1959.  In 1960, Cherry was in contention to capture the U.S. Open before he finished tied for ninth with Ben Hogan, four strokes behind the winner, Arnold Palmer.

Neneh Cherry
"Buffalo Stance"

This 1989 #3 song sold over one million records and was featured in the movie Slaves of New York, which starred Bernadette Peters.  Cherry was able to follow that up with the #8 song "Kisses On The Wind", but never matched the success of her first hit.

Jane Child
"Don't Wanna' Fall In Love"

This talented musician became a member of the Children's Chorus of the Canadian Opera Company at the age of 12 and then studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music.  Her first release in 1990 climbed to #2 for three weeks, but the best she could do after that was #49.

"Mr. Sandman"

This vocal group from Wisconsin had a huge hit just prior to the Rock Era, that presided at #1 for 7 weeks and sold over one million copies.  They had a nice career through 1961, including the #2 song "Lollipop" in 1958 and two other Top 10 songs.

"Yellow River"

This British rock trio included drummer Mike Blakely, whose brother was a member of the Tremeloes ("Silence Is Golden").  In 1970, they enjoyed this very underrated hit, but the best they could do afterwards was #100.

Jimmy Clanton
"Just A Dream"

Another star early in the Rock Era recorded with famous sessionmen in New Orleans, including Huey "Piano" Smith, Earl King and Lee Allen.  His debut went to #4, paving the way for a starring role in the movie Go, Johnny, Go! and a tour with Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars.  He was able to record two more Top 10 hits, but none as big as his first.

Petula Clark

This great British artist hit #1 with her first worldwide single release, which became her standard.  Pet Clark was a big star who finished her career with 22 hits, five other Top 10 hits and the #1 "My Love" a year later.  But nothing she recorded ever topped her first big hit.

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