Monday, June 1, 2009


There were a couple more notes I wanted to throw out here on all that one-hit stuff I've been doing. I want to thank everyone who suggested songs to write about, even though I didn't use most of them. I'm not sure how much of a purist to be about these things, but I decided to disallow any artist who had a second Top Forty hit, like Michael Sembello, who went to Number One with "Maniac," but also hit with something called "Automatic Man," which went to Number Thirty-Four in the fall of 1983. I really wanted to write about the Toys' "A Lover's Concerto" or Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy," but I had to deal with "Attack" (Number Eighteen in very early 1966) and "Twistin' Matilda" (Number Twenty-Two in the spring of 1962), respectively, even though no one has heard either of those songs in forty years.

I did find out that the S.O.S. Band, which went to Number Three in 1980 with "Take Your Time (Do It Right) Part 1," had a drummer named James Earl Jones III, although I don't think he's related to the real James Earl Jones. The Seventies disco group Silver Convention was almost a two-hit wonder: "Fly, Robin, Fly" went to Number One late in 1975, then "Get Up and Boogie" stalled out at Number Two (for three weeks!) in the late spring of 1976. Those were Silver Convention's only hits; I'm pretty sure no act has had two Number One hits and no other Top Forty action.

Incidentally, Whitburn lists "Fly, Robin, Fly" as an instrumental, but "Get Up and Boogie" as a non-instrumental. A few weeks ago, Gavin pointed out that a lot of instrumentals actually have their titles as their only lyric, like "Tequila" or "The Hustle" (yes, there's a "do" in there as well). It would seem a reasonable cutoff to me to call something an instrumental if it had virtually no words beyond its title, but of course "Fly, Robin, Fly" also says "up, up to the sky" in there. Surely, a topic for further investigation.

I also found a terrifying piece of video when researching "Lovin' You." It's a talk show featuring Sammy Davis Jr., Richard Pryor and Minnie Riperton, which really would be enough in and of itself, but you also get to see Minnie get attacked by a lion. And Richard imitates Minnie giving birth, but seriously, guys, this video shows MINNIE RIPERTON BEING ATTACKED BY A LION.