Saturday, October 8, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: October 9

1959:  Bobby Darin became the youngest performer to ever headline the Sands Hotel's Copa Room in Las Vegas, Nevada (21 years old).  Johnny Mathis held the previous record at age 23.

Don Ciccone Has Died

Don Ciccone, lead singer and songwriter of the Critters, died today in Ketcum, Idaho, according to his social media manager Lynn Pattnosh.  Ciccone was 70.

Ciccone and the Critters had one hit, "Mr. Dieingly Said", in 1966.  Ciccone later joined Frankie Valli's Four Seasons from 1973 to 1981 and was the bassist and musical director for a later incarnation of Tommy James and the Shondells.

Read more here:

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.

Friday, October 7, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: October 8

1955:  Chuck Berry continued to own the top R&B song with "Maybellene", now in its 10th week at #1.

1957:  Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song "Great Balls Of Fire" at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
1962:  The Beatles recorded a session at EMI House in Manchester Square in London, to be played on Radio Luxembourg's Friday Spectacular show on October 12.
1963:  "Blue Velvet" by Bobby Vinton held the #1 spot on the Easy Listening chart for the fifth straight week.
1964:  The Beatles recorded "She's a Woman" in seven takes at the EMI Studios in London.  The sixth take was deemed to be the best, and the group spent a second session that night adding overdubs.
1964:  Roy Orbison topped the U.K. chart with "Oh Pretty Woman".
1965:  The Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis Group, Unit Four + 2 and the Checkmates were in concert at the ABC, Stockton on Tees, England.
1966:  Ginger Baker, drummer of Cream, collapsed during a concert at Sussex University in England after playing a 20-minute drum solo.  He recovered at a local hospital.

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest: Part 41

We're winding down our look at artists who set a high bar with their first hit, which wound up being the biggest of their career.  Here are 10 more:

"A Lover's Concerto"

Adapted from Johann Sebastian Bach's Minuet From The Anna Magdalena, this female trio scored a #2 smash of three weeks with "A Lover's Concerto".  The Toys reached #18 with their follow-up, but nothing they did ever measured up to their first hit.

"Heart And Soul"

This group, named after a Vulcan Princess in the classic television series Star Trek, hit #4 in 1987 with their one and only hit.

Ralph Tresvant

Tresvant left the group New Edition for a solo career and promptly hit #4 with this song.  He landed another Top 10 in a collaboration with Janet Jackson, Luther Vandross and BBD ("The Best Things In Life Are Free") but never matched the pace set by his initial hit.

"Wild Thing"

This English group from Andover gave us a garage classic with their first song, a #1 hit in 1966.  Their final hit, "Love Is All Around", gave them a Top 10 as well at #7.

Andrea True Connection
"More, More, More"

This group named after its lead singer rose to #4 with this song in 1976, but her next-best attempt stalled at #27.

"So Much In Love"

A lot of great groups from Philly--here's one that scored a #1 hit with their first.  They went on to rack up 10 career hits, including the #7 song "Wonderful!  Wonderful!", but nothing came close to their original.

Undisputed Truth
"Smiling Faces Sometimes"

This group reached #3 with this hit in 1971.  They were never able to reach the Top 40 again.

"Chariots Of Fire"

From one of the all-time classic movies of the same name, here is Greece's Vangelis.  He enjoyed this #1 hit in 1981, his one and only chart entry.

Randy Vanwarmer
"Just When I Needed You Most"

This artist gave us a big hit with his first effort, a #4 song that sold over one million copies.  That didn't help him afterward; his next-best peaked at #55.

Suzanne Vega

New York's Suzanne Vega vaulted to #3 with this great song, one of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era*.  She returned to the Top 10 in 1990 with "Tom's Diner", but is best known for her first hit.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: October 7

1957:  RCA Victor Records announced that 500,000 advance orders for Elvis' Christmas album had been received.
1957:  "Honeycomb" by Jimmie Rodgers was the #1 R&B song.
1959:  Connie Stevens starred in Hawai'i'an Eye on ABC TV.  The series would last four years.
1961:  The Biggest Show of Stars tour, featuring the Platters, the Drifters, Del Shannon, Dee Clark, Gary U.S. Bonds, the Clefftones and Curtis Lee, performed at the Wichita Forum in Wichita, Kansas.
1963:  The Rolling Stones recorded the song "I Wanna' Be Your Man" that their friends John Lennon and Paul McCartney had written for them at DeLane Lea Studios in London.
1964:  The Beatles appeared on the television show Shindig!, performing "I'm A Loser", "Kansas City" and "Boys".

Coming in 2017: The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era

Coming soon, Inside The Rock Era's exclusive presentation of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.  It has special meaning for me, as it is not only the first I ever produced, but one that enabled me to get my first radio station job. 

We had initially planned it for 2015 as part of the 60th birthday celebration of the beginning of the Rock Era, but decided to wait to see if any of the newer stars could break into the list.  Adele has the best chance, but it appears she's going to be just short from the results of her last album.  

So we've begun work on this fantastic special that you won't want to miss.  We'll announce the exact starting date soon so check this site for updates!

Joan Marie Johnson Faust Has Died

Joan Marie Johnson Faust, one of the founding members of the Dixie Cups, has died, according to Barbara Ann Hawkins, another member of the group and a cousin to Johnson.
Johnson (right in photo) passed away yesterday of congestive heart failure in New Orleans, Louisiana at the age of 72.  

The Dixie Cups had five career hits, but none bigger than their first, the great song "Chapel Of Love".  It soared to #1 in 1964 and stayed there three weeks.

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest: Parts 31-40

Here are quick links to each of the last 10 segments.  Be sure to check them out while the YouTube videos are still active:

Part 31

Part 32

Part 33

Part 34

Part 35

Part 36

Part 37

Part 38

Part 39

Part 40

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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: October 6

1958:  "Rockin' Robin" by Bobby Day ("Rock-In Robin" on some 45's) was #1 on the R&B chart.
1958:  "Tom Dooley" by the Kingston Trio raced up from #83 to #37 on this date.
1962:  After their first single "Love Me Do" had been released the day before, the Beatles signed records at Dawson's Music Shop on Church Street in Widnes, Cheshire, England.  It was one of only three official autograph sessions the Beatles did in their career.  The four Beatles signed their names on the single's red and silver label.  Copies today are rare today and extremely valuable due to the limited duration of the signing.

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.

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 38

We're featuring the artists of the last 61 years who scored a big first hit that was so good that the artist had trouble doing as well after that.  Here are 10 more:

Sonny & Cher
"I Got You Babe"

This husband and wife duo burst onto the scene in 1965 with this classic #1 of three weeks.  They went on to churn out 19 other hits including five other Top 10 songs, and Cher of course became a superstar as a solo performer, but their first was their biggest.

Soul Asylum
"Runaway Train"

This important song about the problem of runaway boys and girls hit #5 in 1993.  Soul Asylum was able to get a #20 hit with their follow-up, but it was their first that set the standard for them.

Soul For Real
"Candy Rain"

Here's an R&B group named Soul For Real that rose to #2 for four weeks with this smash in 1995.  Their next hit reached #17, the final entry in the Top 100 for the group.

Soul Survivors
"Expressway To Your Heart"

We just heard from a New York group; here's another, that found fame with their first hit in 1967.  It reached #4, but nothing else the group did reached the Top 20.

"Black Hole Sun"

This group from Seattle, Washington made waves with their first release in 1994.  Although Billboard's methodology was so mixed up that the song didn't make the "Hot 100" back then, it was a huge Rock hit and received considerable airplay throughout the United States.  The group disbanded in 1997, never enjoying a song as popular as their first.

Spandau Ballet

London's Spandau Ballet is one of the top One-Hit Wonders* of the Rock Era--their song "True" is one of the top-ranked songs outside of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Their next-best song stalled at #29.

Terry Stafford

This artist covered an Elvis Presley song and rode it to #3 in 1964.  Stafford managed only a #25 hit after that.

"Sweet City Woman"

This trio from Calgary, Canada rolled to #8 with their debut hit in 1971.  The best they could do after that was #40.

Lisa Stansfield
"All Around The World"

This artist scored a Platinum record on her first try, a #3 hit in 1990.  She managed to get to #14 on her follow-up and had three more hits after that, but nothing near as big as her first.

"Moonlight Feels Right"

This group showed a lot of promise with their first hit in 1976, this #3 smash.  Their follow-up, "I Got To Know", was underrated at #43, but Starbuck was never able to match their initial hit.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: October 5

1958:  Cliff Richard and the Shadows played their first show together at Victoria Hall in Hanley, England.
1959:  A new Motown group was first introduced to us as the Miracles as their first single--"Bad Girl" debuted on this date.
1959:  "Poison Ivy" was the top R&B Song for the Coasters.
1959:  Ernie Field's Combo were racing up the charts (95 to 46) with "In the Mood".

1959:  An historic day in the Rock Era as "Mack The Knife" by Bobby Darin moved into the #1 position.  It would remain there for six weeks and go on to become one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*.
1961:  The Shadows topped the U.K. chart with "Kon-Tiki".

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest--Part 37

We're presenting some of the artists who were very successful with their first hit, so much so that everything else they did didn't measure up:

"Get A Job"

This Philadelphia group went all the way to #1 in 1958 with their first and only hit.

Simple Minds
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"

One of the most important movies of the '80s was The Breakfast Club, and this Scottish group recorded a song for the movie that was featured prominently at the conclusion of the film.  Simple Minds also enjoyed the #3 hit "Alive & Kicking" and "Sanctify Yourself" is also noteworthy, but they are best known for this song.

The Singing Nun

One of the more surprising hits of the Rock Era comes from 1963, in which Jeanine Deckers, a nun from the Fichermont, Belgium convent, recorded this song.  It was a #1 smash of four weeks, but Deckers never had another hit afterwards.

Percy Sledge
"When A Man Loves A Woman"

Here's another of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, a classic that Percy Sledge took to #1 in 1966.  Percy reached the Top 20 two other times, but nothing he recorded touched his first great song.

Millie Small
"My Boy Lollipop"

Jamaican-born Millie Small found herself amongst the heavyweights in 1964, during the thick of Beatlemania.  Her first hit went to #2, but she could only manage a #40 hit after that.

"Baby It's You"

This group featured a dynamic lead singler, Gayle McCormick, who passed away last year.  Smith took this song to #5 in 1969, the first and last Top 40 hit they had in their career.

Hurricane Smith
"Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?"

Norman Smith produced for Pink Floyd and engineered for the Beatles.  In 1973, he reached #3 with this song, but it was the last Top 40 hit for him.

Michael W. Smith
"Place In This World"

This keyboardist for Amy Grant, who wrote Grant's song "Find A Way", burst onto the scene in 1991 with this solo hit.  He did manage a #1 Adult Contemporary hit with "I Will Be Here For You" the following year, but it stalled at #27 on the Popular chart.


One of the biggest first hits is this one from Toronto, Canada's Snow.  He went to #1 for seven weeks in 1993 and sold over two million copies of "Informer".  Snow reached #19 with his follow-up, the last time we've heard from him.

Phoebe Snow
"Poetry Man"

This singer-songwriter began performing in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York in the early '70s.  In 1975, she first charted with "Poetry Man", a #5 song.  Phoebe never came close to matching that success.

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.

Monday, October 3, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: October 4

1956:  The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show began on NBC-TV.
1961:  Bob Dylan performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City before an audience of 50 people.
1962:  The Tornadoes blew into the #1 spot in the U.K. with "Telstar".
1963:  Eric Clapton replaced Anthony Topham in the Yardirds at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England.  
1963:  The Beatles appeared on the British television show Ready!  Steady!  Go!

Artists Whose First Hit Was Their Biggest: Part 35

Here are 10 more artists in our music feature:

Ronny & the Daytonas

This group from Nashville, Tennessee astounded us with this great song in 1964.  They made the Top 40 but one other time, a #27 song.

Rooftop Singers
"Walk Right In"

This Folk trio scored a huge #1 song originally recorded in 1929 by Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers.  They aren't a One-Hit Wonder* as they landed another Top 20 hit, but nothing came close to "Walk Right In".  

Rose Royce
"Car Wash"

Here's an R&B band from Los Angeles that once backed the Temptations.  In 1976, Rose Royce scored a Platinum record with this #1 smash.  They also scored with "I Wanna' Get Next To You", underrated even at #10.  But of their six career hits, "Car Wash" was by far their biggest.

Rose and the Originals
"Angel Baby"

The only Top 40 hit for this group came from 1961--"Angel Baby".

Ruby and the Romantics
"Our Day Will Come"

This group enjoyed a #1 smash in 1963.  They got as high as #16 with their follow-up but were never able to match their first big hit.

Crispian St. Peters
"The Pied Piper"

It's been a while since we heard from an English act in our feature.  Here's another, Crispian St. Peters, who landed this #4 hit in 1966.  The next-best song he had was at #36.

Kyu Sakamoto

This Japanese artist went to #1 for three weeks with this song.  He never reached the Top 40 again, and tragically was one of 520 people killed in the crash of a Japan Airlines flight in 1985.

Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs
"Wooly Bully"

This group from Dallas, Texas got as high as #2 with this Gold record.  They also hit #2 with "Lil' Red Riding Hood", but 50 years later, that latter hit doesn't come close to their first in popularity.

Tommy Sands
"Teen-Age Crush"

Tommy Sands hit #2 with this song in 1957.  He was able to post two other Top 40 hits, but nothing came close to his original.  He married Nancy Sinatra in 1960.

Samantha Sang

With help from the Bee Gees, fellow Australian Samantha Sang broke through with this big hit in 1978 which sold over two million records.  But Sang would never get another Top 40 hit.

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".