As we've said, this isn't an all-inclusive list, but our series gives you some idea of how an artist will work for years to come up with something worthy of a recording contract, and once they get it and release the best song they've done to that point, it's tough indeed to match it.
Dale & Grace
Danny & the Juniors
Joey Dee & the Starliters
"I'm Leaving It Up To You"
This vocal duo from Prairieville, Louisiana scored a multi-format #1 smash in 1963. They were able to reach #8 with their follow-up, but well short of the standard they had set for themselves.
"At The Hop"
To those of you in high school, perk those ears up. This act formed while at a Philadelphia High School. They took the world by storm with a gigantic #1 hit of seven weeks. After that, Dann & the Juniors could only manage #19.
"Teach Me Tonight"
This group of sisters came all the way from a sugar plantation in Cuba to reach #2 with their first release. Six other releases gave them a best of #17.
Joey Dee was a high school classmate of the Shirelles in New Jersey. They landed at #1 with a great #1 song. They achieved another Top 10 and eight more hits, and in 1964, the band included three members who later formed the Young Rascals and Jimi Hendrix on guitar.
"La-La-Means I Love You"
One of the many great R&B acts from Philadelphia, the Delfonics hit #4 with their first release. Several years later, they achieved a second Top 10 with "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" and had more than a dozen R&B hits.
"Come Go With Me"
This interracial doo-wop group formed at the Air Force Serviceman's Club in Pittsburgh in 1955. Their debut single went to #4 and sold over one million copies. They achieved two other Top 15 hits that year, then disappeared.
Another Gold record came from Martin Denny's first release in 1959. But that was his last Top 20 hit.
"Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)"
Rio De Janieiro, Brazil's Eumir Deodato only had one big hit, but that first release is instantly recognizable worldwide as the theme to the futuristic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Deodato became Kool & the Gang's producer from 1979 to 1982.
Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo"
A teenage singer and guitarist with the McCoys on "Hang On Sloopy", Rick Derringer released his first solo record in 1974. He never reached the Top 40 again.
"You Gotta' Be"
London-born Des'ree scored a huge hit in 1994 with her first release, but for the rest of her career, the best she could attain was #67.