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They Flashed Across
The World of Rock
Burning Out Quickly
In the great era of rock and roll, the 1960s and 1970s, there were performers who were known as "One Hit Wonders." These are musical artists, who, for unknown reasons, were famous for only their "15 minutes" of fame. Like a comet flashing across the sky, these names today are often unremembered. Oddly enough, if you hear the song that made them famous, you remember it. A few of these performers are Zager and Evans (In The Year 2525,) R. Dean Taylor (Indiana Wants Me,) Edison Lighthouse (Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes,) Norman Greenbaum (Spirit In The Sky,) and more. On this page I'll take you on a journey through a few of these "One Hit Wonders," and find out what's happened to them since their glory days.
Zager and Evans - In The Year 2525
Denny Zager and Rick Evans
Do you remember the opening to this song as if it were yesterday? I sure do, and maybe it's portentous of things to come?
"In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may fly."
Musical artists Denny Zager and Rick Evans of “In The Year 2525” teamed up after meeting at the Nebraska Wesleyan University. The recording sold over 4 million copies by 1970. Another bit of trivia is that it was #1 on the United States charts on July 20, 1969, the date of the first manned moon landing, by American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Zager and Evans no longer perform, but they’re still friends and work within the music industry. Zager builds custom guitars, making Zager Guitars one of the preferred brands in the business.
R. Dean Taylor - Indiana Wants Me
R. Dean Taylor of “Indiana Wants Me,” fame is actually a Canadian. This song made him a top selling recording artist, but then he moved on to record for a new record label Rare Earth, which closed down in 1976. Taylor tried a comeback in 1980, and established his own record label Jane Records. His recordings are popular on Canadian radio.
Hey There Lonely Girl - Eddie Holman
Eddie Holman famed for “Hey There Lonely Girl,” is a successful business man, owns the record label Agape Records and a music publishing company Schoochiebug Music Publishing. He still tours with the Eddie Holman Band, and lives in Philadephia, PA.
Edison Lighthouse -
Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes
Edison Lighthouse, a UK group, made their streak across the skyline with “Love Grows Where Rosemary Goes,” hitting the charts in both the UK and the U.S. The original lead vocalist Tony Burrows, left the group after the hit, and was replaced by singer/actor Paul Vigrass. After the group broke up, Les Fradkin obtained the rights to the name Edison Lighthouse and the group lineup is now Brian Huggins (lead vocalist,) Peter Butt (bass guitar,) Stephane Booroff (drums,) and Peter Amos (lead guitar.) They still perform gigs in various places.
Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum
Norman Greenbaum, who wrote and performed “Spirit In The Sky,” was raised in a traditional Jewish home and went to Hebrew school. Even though his tune is spiritual, he says the music of the early 50s and 60s inspired him to write it, but he is a staunch Jew to this day. He lives in Santa Rosa, California.
Terry Jacks - Seasons In The Son
Terry Jacks, Canadian singer, songwriter and record producer, had his one-time hit with "Seasons In The Sun" in 1974. Since that time he has become a firm environmentalist, forming a group called Environmental Watch, fighting large scale pulp and logging companies who are under suspicion of non-compliance of environmental laws.
Sanford-Townsend Band - Smoke From A Distant Fire
Ed Sanford and Johnny Townsend, Blue eyed soul, originating from Alabama singing what's known as "blue-eyed soul," had a hit with this 1977 song "Smoke From A Distant Fire." Itwas the only one for the group. The two men are now session musicians and songwriters still involved in the music industry.
Randy VanWarmer - Just When I Needed You Most
Randy VanWarmer wrote this song after a devastating breakup, and because it touched so many hearts, it went up the success ladder quickly. It continued to be popular for several weeks, and even today, some artists still perform the song. VanWarmer continued writing and helping other songwriters until his death in 2004.
Do you remember this? 96 Tears by ? and the Mysterians
In October of 1966, a recording hit the airwaves and soared to the #1 spot in the U.S. and Canada immediately, where it was played continually. It seems you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing it, any time of night or day. But it was catchy, fun, and had a sound that some connect with the start of punk rock. Behind the ? was a man named Rudy Martinez. This song was a one hit wonder, in that their other recording never made it past the 20s on the chart. Then they "mysteriously" vanished.
Like 60s and 70s Music? Share It!
If you're a fan on 60s and 70s music, you're bound to have a favorite (or 2 or more) in the One Hit Wonders category. Share it with the world in the comment section below!