Published September 17, 2008
Music , One Hit Wonders
Welcome back to one hit wonder Wednesday. There are hundreds and hundreds of one hit wonders out there and sometimes I just browse through lists of them to find one for this blog. When I browse these lists I try to find a song where I can say, I cannot believe that this is his or her only hit song. Today I came across the fact that the amazing Bobby McFerrin has only had one hit song.
Bobby McFerrin is clearly not your typical singer. He sings mostly a cappella, and uses his voice to create the sounds of instruments and accompaniments. He has won 10 Grammy awards in his career, which is quite a feat, and makes the fact that he has only had one hit even odder. I guess it may be because his singing style is just not for everyone, but he is extremely talented and I am choosing him today for my entry. He also has been guest conductor for many Symphony Orchestras.
Of course the song in question is 1988′s Don’t Worry Be Happy. This song got quite a lot of play on the radio that year, and this is probably because it is more pop than most of what he had don’t to that point. It is the first a cappella song to reach number 1 on the Billboard charts.
Here are two youtube videos. One is the music video for Don’t Worry be Happy and the other is a concert video of Bobby singing Lennon and McCartney’s Blackbird.
Wednesday’s song of the day is now known as one hit wonder Wednesday! Before I get to the music, I think it is important to define a one hit wonder. A technical definition would be any singer or group who has had only one song in the Billboard top 40 chart. This though would put some big names into the category, as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Phish have all only had on hit in the top 40. So I am going to be more loose and say that a one hit wonder is any singer or group who is known for only one song. This could fall under the technical definition and will very often, but it allows me to open it up a bit.
These songs can sometimes be great, silly or stupid, but always fun.
Since I was on a folk music kick yesterday, I am going to choose a one hit wonder folk song. This is actually hard, as folk music rarely made it to the charts and most of the major folk singers sang each others songs. But there is one that stands out.
“One Tin Soldier” was first recorded in 1969 and did make it to the charts for a shot spell in 1970. The song has been covered a number of times, but became a hit in 1971 when it was included in the film “Billy Jack.” Billy Jack is a very interesting film. It is a sequel to “The Born Losers” from 1967 and had two more sequels. These movies are often thought of as the first “blockbusters.”
The song was recorded by Jinx Dawson of the band Coven and later released as a single by the band. The lyrics of this song will probably (and unfortunately) always be relevant.
This video is homemade and shows scenes from the Billy Jack movie set to the song.