The Friday 5×2: One-Hit Wonders From 1975

So, we’ve taken care of the first half of the Seventies, and today we start the second half with 1975. Many of the one-hit wonders from this year and presumably the next couple are disco tunes, and you’ll be happy to know I avoided them. I hope you don’t find too many EBS specials among the ten I chose.

  1. Shirley & Co., “Shame Shame Shame” Shirley & Co. were a seven-piece disco band fronted by the late Shirley Goodman. They reached #1 on the dance chart and #12 on the Hot 100 with their one hit. It did better in Europe, reaching #6 there.
  2. Sammy Johns, “Chevy Van” Country singer Sammy Johns had several singles for Warner Brothers-Curb and Elektra records, none as popular as this, which reached #5 and was certified Gold. Known more for his songwriting than his singing, he passed away in 2013 at the age of 66.
  3. Ozark Mountain Daredevils, “Jackie Blue” The Daredevils, from Springfield, Missouri, reached minor success the year before with “If You Wanna Get To Heaven,” which rose to #25. Apparently, however, to qualify as a One-Hit Wonder, you have to have only one record that reached the Top 20, so that qualifies them.
  4. Benny Bell, “Shaving Cream” One that reached the Top 20 thanks to Dr. Demento. Benny Bell was a popular recording artist in the Forties with his risqué songs, such as this one. He made a comeback long enough to give us this one, and Western Civilization is eternally grateful. It reached #18 according to Tunecaster, but only #30 according to Wikipedia. You be the judge.
  5. Ace, “How Long (Has This Been Goin’ On)” Ace was led by Paul Carrack, who later did vocals for Mike + The Mechanics. It sounds like a song about adultery, but Carrack explained he wrote the song when he learned that bassist Terry Comer had been playing with a couple of other bands on the side. Pretty much the same thing. It reached #3 in both the US and Canada (Cash Box had it at #1).
  6. Jessi Colter, “I’m Not Lisa” Country chanteuse Colter has had some success on the Country charts, but this was her one big single, reaching #1 on the US and Canadian Country charts and #4 on the Hot 100. She has been married to both Duane Eddy and Waylon Jennings and collaborated heavily with the latter.
  7. Pilot, “Magic” Pilot was a Scottish rock group formed by two substitute members of the Bay City Rollers, David Paton and Billy Lyall. This reached #5 in the US, #1 in Canada, and #11 in the UK. A followup, “January,” only reached #87 in the US but topped the chart in the UK.
  8. Morris Albert, “Feelings” Albert, from São Paolo, Brazil, claimed to have written the lyrics and music for this one, for which French composer Loulou Gasté sued him, as he had written the melody. Albert lost and had to fork over 88% of the royalties. The song reached #6 in the US and was certified Gold, which made Gasté very happy.
  9. Jigsaw, “Sky High” Jigsaw was a British band formed in the late Sixties, fronted by keyboardist Clive Scott and drummer/vocalist Des Dyer. This reached #3 in the US and #9 in the UK and was a hit all around the world, particularly in Japan. The had a couple of other songs that failed to reach the Top 40 in the US. As songwriters, Scott and Dyer wrote “Who Do You Think You Are?” which was covered by Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods and reached #15 for them.
  10. Consumer Rapport, “Ease On Down The Road” Consumer Rapport was a soul and disco studio group from New York City. The song is from the stage production and movie The Wiz and was later covered by Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in 1978, when the movie came out. This cover reached #1 on the Hot Dance Singles chart, #19 on the Soul Singles chart, and got to #20 on the Hot 100.

Sorry I’m a little late with this. I’ve been busier than a one-armed paperhanger today. Anyway, that’s your Friday 5×2 for December 8, 2017.

17 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: One-Hit Wonders From 1975

    1. Remember the Far Side cartoon where there are several gorillas sitting around a piano, with one playing and singing “Peelings, nothing more than peelings”?

      Had no idea Jessi Colter was Mrs. Waylon Jennings until today. The things you learn…

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  1. I recently asked my family if they knew what I meant by busier than a one armed paper hanger and they all (including Sheila) admitted they had no idea what I was talking about, although they recognized that it meant I was really busy.

    For those too shy to ask: hanging wallpaper generally requires two arms, one to hold it up near the ceiling and the other to smooth it to the wall. It’s practically impossible with two arms, and thus having one arm would make it impossible. Thus the phrase. You’re welcome.

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  2. Hi John,
    You are talkin’ my language with these 1975 hits! I think I told you I have been working on 1970s One Hit Wonders for the A-Z Challenge (was originally going to do it earlier this year but opted out of the challenge all together. Tax time was just too stressful for me this year! So I’m shooting for 2018. But who knows what will happen by then…). Anyway, you have included here some of my very favorites: Chevy Van (which I included in a 4M post recently) – I could play that song over and over and over! Same goes with Ace’s How Long. And Jackie Blue always sends me into a time travel spin. Sky High and Magic are the other two favs here. 1975 was indeed a good year for music!
    I totally forgot about Feelings and I’m Not Lisa! Wow, I haven’t heard those two in ages~! The beginning piano notes in I’m Not Lisa always struck me as kind of eerie, not quite knowing what was to follow — and I found it still has the same effect on me. Those two notes, over and over. Weird.

    Ease On Down the Road is a fun one.
    And Shaving Cream: holy-moly, that is a gem of a song there! At first I wasn’t at all familiar with it but then when the lyrics hit the part “I stepped into a big pile of shhh-aving cream” I got a big smile and said Oh Yeah, I remember that one! And Dr. Demento: what a blast from the past. Crazy times.

    I so miss those years… In my opinion, the 70s were the best decade for music…and it might’ve been my personal best decade too….
    Thanks for kicking my weekend off with this fabulous retro playlist! I’ve been laying around all week feeling sorry for myself after taking a fall on Monday and messing up my shoulder, back and foot. I’ve literally been packed in ice-packs for the last 5 days, day and night…
    Your playlist gave me some feel-goods that I very much needed. Thank you! ❤

    I don’t know that I’ll come back to Monday’s 4M until after the holidays. I’m just not into Christmas music this year and really don’t feel like putting holiday music playlists together all month…

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. For M^4, I’m just rerunning what I’ve done the last couple of years, kind of like what I did for Hallowe’en.

      For variety, you couldn’t beat Seventies music. Rock, pop, disco, soul, country, easy listening, all on the survey at once. They were a great time for music.

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  3. Shame!!!! John!!!
    I’ll admit it, I loved this song! the 70s gave us such variety.
    James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and John Denver formed the base of my favorite music, but I embraced all The Bee Gees songs, too.
    Loving this playlist (well, except for “Feelings.” Ugh)

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    1. “Ugh!” seems to be the prevailing attitude about “Feelings” and I can’t say I disagree….

      It’s sad that the Brothers Gibb have gone in reverse birth order, leaving oldest brother Barry the last one standing. That must be hard for him. Their harmony was impeccable…

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  4. I hate Feelings! It was everywhere and it was an overload of that song. There are some here I know like the 3rd one, Ease On and the last one but some I never heard of like the oldie which is quite funny.

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  5. Great selection, John, and I love all of these songs. I don’t dislike “Feelings” but it was played too much, IMO. Oh, and to ditto Martha Reynolds, I am a Bee Gees fan too.

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