Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 36

Inside The Rock Era has been featuring artists who jumped right out of the box to score a big first hit, which became the biggest they would ever have:

Santo & Johnny
"Sleep Walk"

We have featured several instrumentals in this special and here's another, a #1 smash from 1959.  Brothers Santo and Johnny Farina never got higher than #23 after that.

Linda Scott
"I've Told Every Little Star"

This singer from Queens, New York was a vocalist on Arthur Godfrey's CBS radio show and a co-host of the television show Where The Action Is.  Her 1961 release "I've Told Every Little Star" raced to #3, the biggest hit she ever had.

Jon Secada
"Just Another Day"

Here's the former backup singer for Gloria Estefan, who returned the favor by singing backing vocals on Jon's first single.  It rose to #5 in 1992 and sold over one million copies.  Three successive releases ("Do You Believe In Us", "Angel" and "I'm Free") were all severely underrated, all stopping short of the Top 10.  But Secada did return to the Top 10 with "If You Go" in 1994.

Michael Sembello

This guitarist played on Stevie Wonder's albums in the mid-'70s, and enjoyed a big #1 hit from the movie Flashdance in 1983.  But Michael was unable to get to the Top 20 again.

"If I Ever Fall In Love"

If you went to Howard University in Washington, D.C., you share something with this next group, who formed at Howard.  Their first hit became one of The Top #2 Songs of the Rock Era*, holding on to #2 for an amazing eight weeks and selling over two million copies.  They scored two #10 songs later but nothing came close to this great song.

Shakespear's Sister

This duo consisted of Siobhan Fahey, wife of Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and a member of Bananarama, and Marcella Detroit (Marcy Levy), who sang backup for Eric Clapton and co-wrote "Lay Down Sally".  Their 1992 hit "Stay" peaked at #4, their only entry in the Top 40.

Del Shannon

What a great first hit we have here from Del Shannon, #1 for four weeks in 1961 and one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Shannon collected 17 career hits before he was through, including his next-biggest, "Hats Off To Larry".

Shep and the Limelites
"Daddy's Home"

This song has been remade several times, but the original went to #2 in 1961 for this group.  Shep and the Limelites couldn't match that, nor get in the Top 40 again.

Bobby Sherman
"Little Woman"

This teen idle from Santa Monica, California reached #3 in 1969 with the first of four Gold records in his career.  He posted three other Top 10 songs, but nothing as strong as his first hit.

Shocking Blue

Here's one of the top One-Hit Wonders* of the Rock Era, the Dutch quartet Shocking Blue fronted by Mariska Veres.  They may not have known it at the time, but their late 1969 release has become a timeless classic.  The group couldn't find the Top 40 again.

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