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Chevy Van – Sammy Johns

Chevy Van – Sammy Johns

Anybody remember the van craze of the 1970s? During that decade’s second half, thousands of brilliantly-painted vans with intricate artwork (often airbrushed on) rolled down the nation’s highways. The interiors of these rolling works of art were as elaborate as the outsides, with beds, plush carpeting, soft lighting, “captain’s chairs” up front, a good stereo system, and the obligatory citizen’s band radio (CB radios were an even bigger craze at that time). No expense was … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies

And now, dear friends, a candidate for worst one-hit wonder ever. “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by Crash Test Dummies is a love-it-or-hate-it ditty by beloved Canadian band, Crash Test Dummies (at least they were beloved in Canada for a few years). Hear more: Canadian one-hit wonders The lyrics focus on kids with abnormalities (white hair, birthmarks and Pentecostal parents). A bold move since the song potentially offends all people with white hair, birthmarks and “lurch and shake” religious … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Pop

Bang a Gong (Get It On) – T. Rex

Bang a Gong (Get It On) – T. Rex

T. Rex is another band that had an admittedly flimsy association with heavy metal, but I’m including them in our look at heavy metal one-hit wonders as they were a large part of the UK glam-rock scene of the early ’70s, and as such were highly influential. It’s easy to see where Kiss and Queen, for example, got their ideas. And later, the so-called “hair bands” of the ’80s and ’90s like Poison or Winger were … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Rock

I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis

I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis

Some artists suffer from bad timing. Take Donna Lewis and her biggest hit, “I Love You Always Forever.” This song is tied with a few other songs for the longest chart run at the number two position on the Billboard Hot 100. Nine weeks. But it never reached the #1 position because a little cultural phenomenon titled “Macarena” by Los del Rio dominated the charts for more than three months in 1996, keeping Welsh singer Donna … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Pop

An American Trilogy – Mickey Newbury

An American Trilogy – Mickey Newbury

There aren’t many patriotic one-hit wonders. “Dawn of Correction” by The Spokesmen is one. But “An American Trilogy” by Mickey Newbury has to top this fairly small and exclusive list. Based on three 19th century songs (“Dixie” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” from the Civil War and an African American spiritual in “All My Trials”), “An American Trilogy” was first arranged and performed by Mickey Newbury who reached #26 on the Billboard Top … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Country

Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott

Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott

“Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott is a complete mystery to me. It’s a number one hit. It’s soulful. It’s smooth. It evokes the spirit of Marvin Gaye and Al Green, two of my favorite soul singers. In fact, one of my favorite albums is What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye. Yet in the 1980s and today, “Shake You Down” leaves me cold. I’m simply indifferent about the song. I don’t like it. I don’t hate it. I could care less … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s