Saturday, October 1, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 31

We continue with our look into those artists who jumped out of the gate to score big debut hits and nothing else they ever recorded could match it:

Joan Osborne
"One Of Us"

This artist is one of the top One-Hit Wonders*, although she did a worthy follow-up, "St. Teresa".  In 1996, her song written by Eric Bazilian of the Hooters went to #4.

"One Bad Apple"

This family act from Ogden, Utah were regulars on The Andy Williams Show on television from 1962 to 1967.  In 1971, their debut release was a huge #1 hit of five weeks and sold over one million copies.  The Osmonds posted 13 career hits, including the Top 10's "Yo-Yo" and "Down By The Lazy River", and Donny went on to score big hits, both solo and with sister Marie, but this song was the best the family ever did.

Gilbert O'Sullivan
"Alone Again (Naturally)"

Here's another Irish singer in our feature.  His 1972 hit was one of the biggest of that year and is still solidly a member of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  It held off some pretty great songs to remain at #1 for six weeks and sold over one million copies.  O'Sullivan hit #2 with "Clair" and #7 with "Get Down", but the aforementioned achievements of his first hit represent a pretty tough bar to clear.

"Time Won't Let Me"

Here's a great song from 1966 that went Top 5.  The Outsiders never got higher than #15 after that.  Lead singer Sonny Geraci later led the group Climax, although "Precious And Few" sounds markedly different than this one.

Partridge Family
"I Think I Love You"

This group that starred in their own television series from 1970 to 1974 rose to #1 with this smash in 1970.  They collected two other Top 10 hits and a career total of nine, but never matched their first.  David Cassidy was also a solo artist and real-life stepmother Shirley Jones starred in many movies, including the great musicals Oklahoma and The Music Man.

Paul & Paula
"Hey Paula"

While attending Howard Payne College in Texas, this couple started a duo and released this song in late 1962.  It was a big hit, going to #1 for three weeks.  A follow-up, "Young Lovers", got to #7 but nothing afterwards came close.

Freda Payne
"Band Of Gold"

This feature combines the great music of the One-Hit Wonders* with other artists who scored their biggest career hit with their first.  This artist performed with Duke Ellington, Pearl Bailey and Quincy Jones.  Her 1970 hit jumped to #3 and sold over one million copies in 1970.  Her next-biggest hit was another Gold record, "Bring The Boys Home" in 1971.  Freda Payne is the sister of Scherrie Payne, a later member of the Supremes.  

"Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)"

This great song from 1955 sold over a million copies, the Penguins' one and only hit.

Ce Ce Peniston

In 1989, this singer was crowned Miss Black Arizona.  Her talent was singing, as evidenced by this #5 hit in 1991.  She went on to score nine hits, include two more in the Top 20.

Carl Perkins
"Blue Suede Shoes"

Carl Perkins scored one of The Top #2 Songs of the Rock Era* with this Rock standard in 1956, which has since been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  It was the only time Carl would reach the Top 40.  Perkins later was a member of Johnny Cash's touring group.

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