The Friday 5×2: One-Hit Wonders From 1972

Naturally, when I find a page on Wikipedia that I want to work with, they remove it or alter it in such a way I can’t find the damn thing. So, to do this week’s 5×2, I had to find another page, specifically this one. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappear on me as well. Again, I’m avoiding the #1’s because Cathy did them, and I left off a couple that I really wanted to include, which I had already done here. Still, I came up with a dozen of them.

  1. Jonathan Edwards, “Sunshine” From his eponymous first album, also from 1972, this reached #4. They originally weren’t going to include this on the album or release it or a single, but the engineer screwed up and erased the track they were going to put on the album, so this replaced it. Jonathan is probably happy that happened.
  2. Malo, “Suavecito” Malo was led by Jorge Santana, brother of Carlos. This song was written by timbales player Richard Bean, who also sang on the track. The song reached #18 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Another song, “Nena,” got a lot of play on FM stations, at least in the Chicago area.
  3. Mouth and MacNeal, “How Do You Do” Willem Duyn (a/k/a Big Mouth, or just Mouth) and Sjoukje van’t Spijker (a/k/a Maggie MacNeal) were a Dutch duo who would go on to sing The Netherlands’s entry in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, “I See A Star”, where they placed third. This song spent 19 weeks on the Hot 100, peaking at #8.
  4. Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” Rod Argent, formerly of The Zombies, formed this quartet in 1970, when their eponymous first album came out. This was from their third album, 1972’s All Together Now, and reached #5 on the Hot 100, their only song to crack it. They had a couple more Top 40 hits in the UK, including “God Gave You Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which reached #18 in 1973.
  5. Sailcat, “Motorcycle Mama” From Decatur, Alabama, they were one of the early Southern pop/rock bands. This was the title track from their 1972 album, and went to #18 on the Hot 100. They broke up shortly after that.
  6. Danny O’Keefe, “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” Danny’s done a lot of recording, both before and after this song came out. This was released in September and reached #9. He earned a gold record for this song, then slipped back into obscurity.
  7. Albert Hammond, “It Never Rains In Southern California” The song’s title is misleading, because it does indeed rain there, albeit not frequently. Albert is better known for his songwriting, but had a few singles that reached the Hot 100, but only the one Top 40 hit, this one, which reached #5. Another Hammond tune, “99 Miles From L.A.”, which he wrote with Hal David and was recorded by Art Garfunkel, made it to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, but that only reached #91 on the Hot 100.
  8. Climax, “Precious and Few” From L.A., Climax recorded this in 1970 but didn’t release it until late 1971, after being tested in Hawai’i about six months earlier and in Buffalo and Boston before being released to the rest of the country. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Cash Box survey. A follow-up record, “Life and Breath,” went to #1 in Hawai’i, #11 on L.A.’s KHJ radio’s survey, and #15 on the Easy Listening chart, but only reached #52 nationally, after which the band broke up.
  9. T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)”” Glam-rockers T. Rex had their one big US Top 40 hit with this, off of their 1971 Electric Warrior album. It reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #12 on the Cash Box survey. The song was renamed from “Get It On” in the US to avoid confusion with Chase’s one-hit wonder of the same name, from 1971.
  10. The Pipes & Drums of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, “Amazing Grace” The senior Scottish regiment in the British Army had a hit with this, which reached #1 throughout the Commonwealth and #17 in the US. I bought my bagpipes from the son of their pipe major. Still have them, but I haven’t played them since 1983.
  11. Chi Coltrane, “Thunder and Lightning” From Racine, Wisconsin, close enough to Chicago to be considered a suburb, Chi Coltrane seemed like a sure bet to be a breakout artist with this song. It reached #17 and was her only hit.
  12. The Chakachas, “Jungle Fever” A group of Latin soul studio musicians from Brussels, Belgium (which we all know is a hotbed of Latin soul), this song was released in late 1971 and peaked at #8 on the Hot 100 in March 1972. It was banned from the BBC because of the heavy breathing and moaning, which is why I liked it so much.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 (plus two) for November 24, 2017.

16 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: One-Hit Wonders From 1972

  1. I never realised T-Rex were a one hit wonder in the US. They are one of my favourite bands – although I didn’t live through half the decade (and wasn’t interested in music for the other half) I love T-Rex, and the whole Glam Rock genre… It’s probably time to get my CDs out 🙂

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    1. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t catch on with the FM crowd here, which was mostly album-oriented rock as opposed to Top 40 pop that the AM stations focused on, but Glam didn’t make it here. T. Rex wasn’t strictly glam, though: Marc Bolan was a good player and some of theirs was mainstream rock. People tended to go with whatever pigeonhole a band was assigned, and didn’t listen outside the one or two pigeonhole they claimed to like. If you listened to The Who, the other bands you liked were like The Who (i.e. power trios like Cream and Led Zeppelin).

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  2. I always consider 1972 to be one of my milestone years. Partly because I turned 21 in 1972, but mostly because of all the things that were happening in my own life as well as in the world. It was also a great year for music. Your list may not depict the “best” music in my own assessment, but these were some of the iconic sounds we’d hear when we happened to be listening to the radio. Good selection.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. There were some that I didn’t remember until I played them. That was a fertile period for Top 40 radio and stations were playing just about anything the record companies sent them, even if it wasn’t really “Top 40” material.

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    1. We had WLS and WCFL in Chicago, and a lot of radios moved from 890 and 1000 and back a few times a day, occasionally stopping at WGRT (later WJPC) and WVON, the soul stations. Most of the rest of AM radio was talk even then.

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  3. John,

    I listened to these wonderful one-hit wonders, most I remember quite well and some I haven’t heard in years like Jonathan Edwards, “Sunshine” and Mouth and MacNeal, “How Do You Do”. I was thinking about once I go through the #1 one-hit wonders in my series to go back and back through the lists to feature the one-hit wonders I remember best regardless of their charting seat. I really enjoyed The Pipes & Drums of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards’ “Amazing Grace” rendition which is simply beautiful! Great picks. 🙂

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    1. I’m looking at some of the songs on the one-hit wonder lists, and I swear, I can’t remember some of them.

      Chicago, with its big Irish population, was always a bagpipe kind of place, so I heard that a lot. Subconsciously, I think it’s why I took them up in my early days. Haven’t played them in over 30 years, and I’m not sure I could anymore…

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        1. I could play them (I’m assuming spell check decided that “okay” was better than “play”), but it’s been over thirty years and it’s one of those things that you lose rapidly. Plus Mary said that if I started playing them again she’d leave me…

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