Monday, October 3, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest: Part 34

We hope you're enjoying our latest feature.  We have 10 artists lined up and ready to play for you:

Rhythm Syndicate

This Connecticut group went to #2 with this song in 1991.  Their follow-up got as high as #13 but they are best known for their first hit.

Tony Rich Project
"Nobody Knows"

The Tony Rich Project gave us a monster hit in 1996 with this #2 Double Platinum record.  They were never able to find the Top 40 again.

Nelson Riddle And His Orchestra
"Lisbon Antigua"

Prior to recording for himself, Nelson Riddle worked as a trombonist and arranger with Tommy Dorsey in the '40s and was an arranger and conductor for Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Judy Garland, among others.  In late 1955, Riddle recorded this gem, which became a #1 song of four weeks in 1956.  He recorded numerous other songs and arranged for Linda Ronstadt and for many movies, but nothing else came close to #1.

Jeannie C. Riley
"Harper Valley P.T.A."

This Country artist first arrived on the scene with this #1 hit in 1968.  She charted 23 Country hits through 1976, but was never able to translate any of those into big hits.

Minnie Riperton
"Lovin' You"

This singer from Chicago, Illinois once was a backing vocalist for Stevie Wonder in 1973.  Two years later, her #1 smash "Lovin' You" introduced her, but Minnie's next-best try stalled at #76.

"California Sun"

Here's another of the One-Hit Wonders*, a teenage group from Indiana who nonetheless enjoyed their big hit about the "California Sun".  Try as they did, the group never entered the Top 40 again.

Robin S.
"Show Me Love"

Here's a great Gold record from 1993, the only big hit for Robin S.

"Somebody's Watching Me"

The son of Motown Records chairman Berry Gordy, Jr., Rockwell enlisted the help of Michael Jackson for this #2 smash of three weeks in 1984.  But without Michael, the best Rockwell could do was #35.

Jimmie Rodgers

Some might remember this song being used for a cereal of the same name, but it was a huge hit in 1957, going to #1 for four weeks and selling over one million copies.  Rodgers scored 25 hits over his career, including the #3 sings "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and "Secretly", but his first big hit set the pace for him.

"Be My Baby"

This group formed in New York City in 1958 and were first known as the Darling Sisters.  After doing backup work for Phil Spector, Veronica Bennett married Spector and changed her stage name to Ronnie Spector.  Their #2 smash of three weeks in 1963 has proved to be one of the most durable of the early Rock hits.  Their next-best song may be their version of "Sleigh Ride", but they also released the worthy "Walking In The Rain".

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