Thursday, October 6, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest: Part 40

We have a few more segments for you in our special--here are 10 more artists:

"Puttin' On The Ritz"

This song was a hit for Irving Berlin in 1929--Taco Ockerse covered it and took it to #4 in 1983.  It was Taco's only career hit.

A Taste of Honey
"Boogie Oogie Oogie"

Astonishingly, this group captured the 1978 Best New Artist Award at the Grammys over the Cars.  While they did reach #1 for three weeks with this song, A Taste of Honey only had one other Top 10 hit in their career (their cover of "Sukiyaki" in 1981), making the Grammy choice one of the great blunders of all-time.

R. Dean Taylor
"Indiana Wants Me"

Here is the guy who co-wrote the #1 classic "Love Child" for the Supremes.  He enjoyed the #5 hit "Indiana Wants Me" in 1970, but never got to the Top 40 again.

"Pump Up The Jam"

This Dance group from Belgium certainly provided the groove with this Platinum smash released in 1989.  It rose to #2 for two weeks for Technotronic.  They were able to score two other Top 10 hits but nothing close to their original.

Teddy Bears
"To Know Him, Is To Love Him"

This trio consisted of Phil Spector, Carol Connors and Marshall Leib.  Their first hit vaulted to #1 for three weeks in 1958 and included drummer Sandy Nelson, another artist we've heard in this feature.  Spector of course became famous for the "Wall of Sound" production technique; Connors went on to co-write "Gonna' Fly Now", the theme from the movie Rocky.

Timmy Thomas
"Why Can't We Live Together"

Timmy Thomas was a studio musician at Gold Wax Records in Memphis, Tennessee before moving to Miami, Florida in 1970.  Three years after that, Thomas scored a #3 hit of his own.  But Timmy's next-best attempt stalled at #75.  He did session work for KC and the Sunshine Band later in his career.

Johnny Thunder
"Loop De Loop"  This artist hit #4 in 1963 with this song, but was unable to get to the Top 40 again.

Thunderclap Newman
"Something In The Air"

This British trio formed by Pete Townshend of the Who released this song in 1969, a highly underrated hit at #37.  Unfortunately, it was the last we heard of them in that combination, though guitarist Jimmy McCulloch joined Wings from 1975 to 1977.

'Til Tuesday
"Voices Carry"

Aimee Mann fronted this Boston, Massachusetts group formed in 1983.  Their first hit went Top 10 in 1985.  'Til Tuesday had two other noteworthy songs:  "What About Love" and "Coming Up Close", one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.  But they were never able to match the success of their first hit.


Producer Joe Meek organized this British surf-rock group in 1962.  They came up with one of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*, the amazing "Telstar" in 1962.  But the next-best song they could do was a #63 hit.

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