Saturday, October 8, 2016

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest: Part 42

Inside The Rock Era is presenting the artists who did so well with their first release that they were never able to match it.  Here are 11 more:

"Walk--Don't Run"

This great instrumental group which featured guitars went to #2 with their first hit in 1960.  They hit the Top 10 two more times, most notably with the theme to the television show Hawai'i Five-O.

Larry Verne
"Mr. Custer"

This next singer worked in a photo studio when a trio of California songwriters who worked in his building asked him to record "Mr. Custer" because of his Southern drawl.  It was a good selection, as Larry Verne took the song to #1 in 1960.  Verne only had one other hit and nothing closer to his first.

Village Stompers
"Washington Square"

This group from Manhattan, New York reached #2 with their first hit in 1963.  They were never able to return to the Top 40 again.

Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps

Gene Vincent was one of the great early rockers and reached #7 with this song in 1956.  He got as high as #13 and scored five more hits, but his best has always been his first.

Jack Wagner
"All I Need"

Wagner played on the television soap era General Hospital from 1983 to 1987.  In 1984, he tried his hand at recording and posted a #2 hit.  Wagner tried three more times but was unable to get to the Top 40 again.  He later joined the cast of Santa Barbara in 1991 and Melrose Place in 1994.

John Waite
"Missing You"

The former lead singer of the Babys began a solo career in 1984, going to #1 with this song.  He had nine more hits, but none cracked the Top 20.  Waite later fronted the band Bad English.

Jody Watley
"Looking For A New Love"

The goddaughter of Jackie Wilson, this artist was in the group Shalamar from 1977 to 1984.  She raced to #2 for four weeks in 1987 with this smash.  Watley had 13 career hits and five other Top 10's, including another #2 song, "Real Love", but her first one set the pace.

Joan Weber
"Let Me Go Lover"

Here's one of the great songs just prior to the Rock Era, a #1 smash of four weeks.  Weber was never able to reach the Top 40 again.

We Five
"You Were On My Mind"

This California group rolled to #3 with this great song in 1965.  The next-best they could do was #31.

Wild Cherry
"Play That Funky Music"

This group from Ohio had a #1 hit of three weeks in 1976.  Four more trips to the Top 100 never got them inside the Top 40 again.

Matthew Wilder
"Break My Stride"

This artist paid his dues, backing Bette Midler and Rickie Lee Jones prior to releasing his first solo single.  Wilder got to #5 in 1984 with this song, but his next best effort was #33.

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