The Friday 5×2: 1974 One-Hit Wonders

1974 was a significant year in my life (I graduated high school and started college) and there was a lot of great music that came out that year. A lot of the songs on the list for that year were songs I hadn’t heard, and Cathy already did many of the ones I had heard in her post, so I only have ten to share this time.

  1. Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room” The pride of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Brownsville Station got considerable airplay on FM, but had just the one Top 40 hit, which reached #3. It was later covered by Motley Crüe.
  2. David Essex, “Rock On” Actor and singer Sir David Essex, OBE has had considerable success in the UK (19 Top 40 singles and 16 albums), so it’s a little surprising that this was his only US hit, which reached #5 in March.
  3. Rick Derringer, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” Rickie Dean Zehringer, a/k/a Rick Derringer, sang “Hang On Sloopy” for The McCoys in the ’60s and has worked with both Winter brothers, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Steely Dan, and Todd Rundgren. This was from his first solo album, 1973’s All-American Boy, and it peaked at #19.
  4. Sister Janet Mead, “The Lord’s Prayer” Sister Janet was an Australian Sister of Mercy from Adelaide who directed the Rock Masses at Adelaide Cathedral. She had a three-octave voice and perfect pitch, but was very shy and reserved, saying that the year she had her hit record (#3 in Australia, #4 in the US) was one of the hardest of her life.
  5. Sami Jo, “Tell Me A Lie” Country singer Jane Annette Jobe, a/k/a Sami Jo, reached #21 on the Hot 100 and #14 on the Easy Listening chart with this sing. Her next single, “It Could Have Been Me,” the title track from her 1974 album, reached #46 on the Hot 100 and #31 on the Easy Listening chart. She never had another hit record.
  6. Bobby Womack, “I’m Looking For A Love” A remake of The Valentinos’ hit from the early ’60s, which Bobby sang as lead singer for them. It’s a secular remake of the gospel song “Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray.” He’s had a long and varied musical career, as you can see here. The J. Geils Band had their first hit with the song in 1972.
  7. Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells” Oldfield’s 1973 album of the same name was essentially two album-side instrumental compositions, edits of which were played on the radio. This particular edit was used as the theme for the movie The Exorcist, and peaked at #11. The full album reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Cash Box Albums chart.
  8. Dave Loggins, “Please Come To Boston” The second cousin of Kenny Loggins, Dave was a musician and composer who wrote the song “Pieces of April” for Three Dog Night. His one hit reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Easy Listening chart.
  9. The First Class, “Beach Baby” The First Class was a British studio-based group assembled by producer and composer John Carter. It was sung by session singers Tony Burrows (who I discussed in the 1970 post) and Chas Mills, and peaked at #4 in the US and #13 in the UK.
  10. Marvin Hamlisch, “The Entertainer” Scott Joplin wrote “The Entertainer” in 1902, and it was used as the theme song for the 1974 movie The Sting. Hamlisch, of course, is only one of two people to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, a Tony Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in his career (Richard Rodgers is the other). Despite all that, this was his only hit single, reaching #2.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for December 1, 2017.

13 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: 1974 One-Hit Wonders

  1. That surprises me about Marvin Hamlisch. Hated “Please Come To Boston.” Love “Rock On.” Hadn’t heart Sister Janet but had to check her out because, well, you know. Cute little rendition but not sure I’d listen to it on a regular. Thanks for sharing these, John.

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    1. Hamlisch was a talented guy, and he earned every one of those awards. I liked “Boston,” but might have loved it more if it had been played a little less. And Sister Janet got overplayed, but the song was representative of what you might have heard at Mass in the Seventies.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Have you ever heard the entire “Tubular Bells” album? There are much better portions of it than the Exorcist theme. “The Entertainer” was one of those cultural phenomena, I think.

      I liked “Please Come To Boston,” but I agree they could have played it a whole lot less.

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  2. Funny how no one seems to like “Please Come to Boston”…but I do. LOL

    I had never heard this version of The Lord’s Prayer before. I don’t know how I missed it unless they just didn’t play it on the stations I listened to in high school. What a voice she has.

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    1. I kind of liked “Please Come To Boston” myself. Got played to death, but then, so did everyone back then.

      I’m surprised you hadn’t heard that version of “The Lord’s Prayer,” but I can see where your local stations and mine had different policies. I mean, Chicago is a big Catholic town, so a song by a nun is going to do better there…

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