Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 39

These artists scored big hits right out of the box, but in the rest of their careers, some long, some short, they were unable to clear the standard they set for themselves:

Starland Vocal Band

"Afternoon Delight"

This group was the backing band for John Denver, and Denver signed the Starland Vocal Band to his Windsong label.  The group released this killer record in 1976, a #1 smash, and never made the Top 40 again.  To be fair, though, their debut album was fantastic, showing off their great harmonies.  "Starland", "American Tune" (a cover of the Paul Simon song) and "California Day" are especially noteworthy.

"Born To Be Wild"

This L.A. act soared to #2 for three weeks with this classic in 1968.  They followed it up with the #3 hit "Magic Carpet Ride" and another Top 10, "Rock Me", among their 13 career hits.  The biggest song in their catalog is their first.

Dodie Stevens
"Pink Shoe Laces"

Here's a singer from Chicago, Illinois who got to #3 with her first hit.  Stevens never made it to the Top 40 again.

Amii Stewart
"Knock On Wood"

Amii Stewart recorded this smash in 1979, a Platinum record for her.  But Amii was never able to get to the Top 40 again.

Strawberry Alarm Clock
"Incense And Peppermints"

This psychedelic smash went to #1 in 1967 for the Strawberry Alarm Clock.  The best they could do after that was #23.


This guitar instrumental quintet first hit with "Wheels", a #3 hit in 1961.  

"Green-Eyed Lady"

Denver, Colorado gave us this act, who introduced themselves to us in 1970 with this song.  Lead singer and keyboardist Jerry Corbetta recently passed away.

"Wipe Out"

If you live in Glendora, California, chances are someone knows this group; they originated from there.  The Surfaris opened their career with this great instrumental at #2, which turned out to be the biggest of four career hits.

Billy Swan
"I Can Help"

This artist wrote for Clyde McPhatter and produced the first three albums for Tony Joe White.  In 1974, his first solo hit went to #1, but Billy couldn't enter the Top 40 again.

"Pillow Talk"

This artist was half of the duo Mickey & Sylvia.  In 1973, she released a solo single that went to #3.  But Sylvia's next-best effort was a #70 song.

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