Originally posted by plb
Your definition of One Hit Wonder sounds more objective than what I'm using. Which is if I remember 1 song by them, but only 1, then they are a OHW. Here are a few more using my definition from another PBS oldies show:
A Thousand Stars - Kathy Young & the Innocents (also saw her last week)
Do You Love Me – Contours (saw them last week as well)
For Your Love – Ed Townsend
Romeo & Juliet – Reflections
Tossin’ and Turnin’ – Bobby Lewis
Since I Fell for You – Lenny Welch
Remember Then – The Earls
Daddy’s Home – Limelighters (I remember something about it being an answer song to another with the same singer?)
Once In a While – Chimes (not sure if I remember it or not)
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye – The Casinos
In the Still of the Night – The Satins (I remember it being voted 1 or 2 all time greatest hit on some oldies station)
Peppermint Twist – Starliters
Sea Cruse – Frankie Ford (already discussed, he came on the show after Little Richard and he made Little Richard look normal)
I have to check myself or I'll turn into an academic and pedantic purist! -- No, not really, but after being in and out (mostly out) of radio for years, one-hit-wonders is an especial favorite field of mine. I DO tend to get right academic about such simply because there are so many people who would qualify if we extended the parameters... plenty of folks I wouldn't even be familiar with! (Find my dumb spot(s) and I'm easily stumped.)
Everyone you named is a good candidate for one-shotdom... Ed Townsend, especially. He must have produced a hundred great singles for other artists (many of which he wrote)... the man was a genius.
"Daddy's Home" by Shep & The Limelites was the 1961 answer to "A Thousand Miles Away" by The Heartbeats from 1956 (and again in 1960!).
The Reflections' follow-up, "Like Columbus Did," reached # 96 for one week. "Poor Man's Son" fared better, tromping up to # 55 on Billboard.
And how many better one-hit-and-pffft! artists are there than Lenny Welch? He had been recording for Cadence since 1958 or 1959, but had failed to follow up his 1960 hit "You Don't Know Me" (# 45) with even a blip on the charts. Label owner Archie Bleyer really liked the guy and hated to turn him loose. "Tell you what, Lenny," he said. "I think I've found a song that's perfectly suited to you. Give it all you got. I'll promote it all I can. After that, if it stiffs, I'll hunt you up a new label." Take after take, Lenny sang his heart out. Archie recalled that he started crying watching him and remarked "That man is literally wringing his soul out, singing that." They kept the most emotion-laden take, overdubbed the orchestra, and released it. It sold 900,000 copies. Until Archie closed down Cadence Records, Lenny Welch remained in his artist stable. Lenny went on to have "Two Different Worlds" (# 61 in 1965 for Kapp) and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" (the Neil Sedaka song) for the Commonwealth United label (# 34 in 1970).
It's quite a feat to outdo Little Richard, but Frankie Ford is a prime candidate for who could (too bad Esquerita never was on television!). I understand that Frankie disappeared after Hurricane Katrina, but I can't find any mention of his supposed death online. If anything, the backside of "Sea Cruise" is even better: "Roberta." But his greatest 45 (IMHO, anyhow) is "Alimony."
The Chimes: what a gorgeous record! I have it on a well-worn TAG 444 copy; the surface noise only adds to the charm.
Thanks for your great list of suggestions, and by all means keep 'em coming!
Sitting On My B-Side Typing This, One-Shot Ort. Carlton in Well-Represented-On-The-Charts Athens, Georgia.