One Hit Wonders of the 50’s and 60’s

The Silhouettes took their #1 hit Get A Job, to the top of the charts on February 24, 1958. The group received a Gold Record for the song, but never had another song to reach the charts.

The Purple People Eater reached #1 on June 9, 1958. Sheb Wooley turned down the song at first, since he didn’t want to be associated with that kind of song.

I said Mr Purple People Eater, what’s your line?
He said eating purple people, and it sure is fine
But that’s not the reason that I came to land
I wanna get a job in a rock ‘n roll band”

The Minnesota Vikings would later call their defense the Purple People Eaters. Sheb Wooley technically was not a one hit wonder, since he had a #1 country song in 1962 with That’s My Pa. He would go on to record some country songs under the name of Ben Colder and took his version of Almost Persuaded #2 to #6 on country charts.

Teen Angel was a #1 song for Mark Dinning on February 8, 1960. His sister Jean and her husband Red Surrey wrote the song. Mark was stage name, since he was named Max Edward Dinning by his parents. The song is about a girl, who is pulled safely from a car, about to be hit by a train, but goes running back and is killed, by the oncoming train. These are some of the saddest lyrics ever written in a song.

That fateful night, the car was stalled
Upon the railroad tracks
I pulled you out and we were safe
But you went running back

Teen Angel, can you hear me?
Teen Angel, can you see me?
Are you somewhere up above
And am I still your own true love?

What was it you were looking for
That took your life that night?
They said they found my high school ring
Clutched in your fingers tight

Teen Angel, can you hear me?
Teen Angel, can you see me?
Are you somewhere up above
And am I still your own true love?

Just sweet sixteen and now you’re gone
They’ve taken you away
I’ll never kiss your lips again
They buried you today

Teen Angel, can you hear me?
Teen Angel, can you see me?
Are you somewhere up above
And am I still your own true love?

Teen Angel
Teen Angel
Answer me, please

Mark Dinning never recorded another hit song and died 29 years ago, at the age of 52, and died of a heart attack in Jefferson City, Missouri.
 
Ringo was a strange song, since Lorne Greene never sang a word of the song. The lyrics are one word with Ringo being sung over and over by a chorus. Meanwhile, Lorne Greene told a story about a legendary gunfighter. It went to #1 on the pop charts on December 5, 1964 and easy listening charts, but peaked at #21 on the country charts. There is no way, that Ringo would be a #1 hit on the pop charts today.
Judy in Disguise With Glasses sung by John Fred and his Playboys went to the top of the pop charts, on January 20,1968, The title name is a play on words of the song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. 
John Fred was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 8, 1941 and died on April 14, 2005 at the age of 63 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He died of complications after receiving a kidney transplant.
Jeanie C. Riley recorded the Tom T. Hall song Harper Valley PTA, and took it to #1 on both the Hot 100 chart and Hot Country Singles chart. She was the first woman, to ever accomplish that feat. It wouldn’t happen again, till Dolly Parton did the same with 9 To 5 thirteen years later in 1981.
Tom T. Hall offered the song first to Skeeter Davis, but she declined his offer. Plantation Record label had to rush the release of the record, since Billie Joe Spears and Margie Singleton had also recorded it. Riley released her version first and the rest was history.
She never had another #1 song in either pop or country, but did have these Top 10 Country Songs:
1968 – The Girl Most Likely #6
1968 – There Never Was A Time #5
1969 – Country Girl #7
1971 – Oh Singer #4
1971 – Good Enough to Be Your Wife #7
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Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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