And here we have yet another HOT 100 One-Hit Wonder. Though the band took this song to #10 on the Billboard R&B chart, it stalled at #55 on the HOT 100 in 1979. It’s official peak for the ’80s is #63.
This is, again, one of those songs I don’t recall hearing on the radio when I was growing up. It has a somewhat Earth, Wind and Fire feel, what with the multi-tracked vocals and occasional space-sound effects.
Not a whole lot of lyrics in this one. Must have been a good song to dance to. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Memorable lyric: “Caught the bus to go downtown. Bus broke down, downtown bound. Left the bus, flagged down a cab. The driver said, I want all your cash.”
Here’s the first medley to appear on the HOT 100 in the ’80s. It seamlessly combines The Four Season’s top ten hit “Working My Way Back to You” and a lesser-known song “Forgive Me, Girl.” Growing up I never realized this was a medley of two songs. The “Forgive Me, Girl” section always sounded to me like a bridge, and is a very short part of the overall song anyhow.
The song peaked at #2 in and ended up the overall #14 song of 1980. Not sure if they planned it this way, but the song was so successful that The Spinners released another medley as a follow-up (see #1980-263).
Memorable lyric: “I used to love to make you cry. It made me feel like a man inside. But if I’d been a man in reality you’d still be here, babe, loving me.”
So here’s the third song in the ’80s to peak at the worst possible position: #41. I mean, at least the last two artists we already talked about (see #1980-47 and #1980-50) had other songs that reached the top 40, but not this guy. This is his only HOT 100 entry. That makes him an official One-Hit Wonder, unlike his uncle. Who’s his uncle? Listen to the song. The last name is your only hint.
Dann Rogers did have a minor adult contemporary hit later in the year called “China.” It reached #34 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart… but that still makes him a OHW on the HOT 100 chart.
Oh, and as for my comment about the worst possible peak position: I stand by it. Some may say having a song peak at #2, or perhaps #11, is worse. If your song makes the Top 40, you’re a legit pop artist. Peaking at #2 is frustrating, sure, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Who’s with me?! I would gladly record a #2 (or #11) song over a #41.
Memorable lyric: “I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine. I learned my lesson very well: you may lose your heart, you can never tell.”
Hmm… sounds like the Rolling Stones. They’re from England, just like the Rolling Stones. They act like the Rolling Stones. Lead singer dude has one dance move he uses over and over, like Rolling Stones.
They all look like they’re in their late 20’s. Comparison over.
This cover of The Standell’s “Dirty Water” flowed to #51 in January 1980.
Memorable lyric: “Down by the banks of the river Thames- that’s what’s happening, baby. That’s where you’ll find me along with lovers, muggers and thieves. But they’re cool people.”
Before “Jefferson Airplane”/”Jefferson Starship”/”Starship”, and before “John Cougar”/”John Cougar Mellencamp”/”John Mellencamp,” there was “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band”/”Dirt Band”/Oh-what-the-heck-let’s-go-back-to “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.”
Not a bad song really, The Dirt Band’s “An American Dream” reached #13 a few weeks into the decade. I recall hearing this one growing up in Atlanta. I suppose down there pop radio stations were much more friendly to country-based groups like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band versus stations in other regions of the country. However, even the west coast surely couldn’t resist this one with Linda Ronstadt on background vocals.
“An American Dream” ended up the #72 song of 1980.
Memorable lyric: “I think a tropical vacation this year might be the answer to this hillbilly beer.”