Friday, March 20, 2009

Until the Rainbow Burns the Stars Out in the Sky

One more thing to note before I get off of this Stevie Wonder kick: Stevie had a Number One hit in August 1963, with "Fingertips Pt. 2," as well as a Number One hit in November 1985 with "Part-Time Lover." (There were seven others in between as well.) That's more than 22 years between Number One hits. If you credit Stevie for "That's What Friends Are For," which was credited to Dionne & Friends and went to Number One on January 18, 1986, you can stretch those 22 years out a little further, although for my money, it's Gladys Knight, batting cleanup, who owns that song.

But that's not quite the record. The Beach Boys' first Number One record was "I Get Around," which hit the top spot on the Fourth of July, 1964, and their last was the inexplicable "Kokomo," which went to Number One in November 1988. That's 24-plus years between Number One hits. By the way, how unjust is it that "Kokomo" went to Number One, while the great "Good Timin'," from 1979, spent one measly week at Number Forty?

You didn't believe me when I said Gladys Knight owns "That's What Friends Are For," did you? Listen:

7 comments:

Daniel Brogan said...

Actually, Stevie comes in at #3 on your list. Michael Jackson had #1 hits 23 years apart: "Ben" (1972) and "You Are Not Alone" (1995). If you give MJ credit for J5 hits, "I Want You Back" (1969) increases his span to 26 years.

T. Nawrocki said...

I didn't think of Michael; good catch. There is a tremendous advantage in these things to having a Number One hit as a preteen.

Daniel Brogan said...

And how about:

"I Got You Babe," Sonny and Cher (1965)

"Believe," Cher (1999)

If the judges will allow it, that's 34 years. Otherwise, "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves," Cher's first solo hit (1971), puts us at 28 years.

Either way, we have a new champion.

Marshall said...

That song is about AIDS. And though I'm not a fan of Elton John, I've lost more than a few dear friends to that thing. This is the clip that really destroys me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlD_XNMCjuo

T. Nawrocki said...

Thanks for sharing that. Is the whole movie worth seeing?

Marshall said...

It's a tough movie in some ways. And flawed. Maybe the most interesting things are Richard Gere, just for his performance, and Ian McKellan, in that he was cast because no American actor would take the role. (I think that would be different now.)

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