Turntable Talk #7 – One Hit Wonders

This blog is part of Turntable Talk, hosted by Dave at A Sound Day. Each month he provides us with a new topic for discussion. This time around Dave’s topic is One Hit Wonders.

He says, “While we mostly all love the Beatles, Stones, U2s and Springsteens who stick around for years if not decades and roll out memorable hit after memorable hit, we can’t forget all those ‘one and done’ acts from Alphaville to Zager and Evans. We’d be much poorer , musically, if all those acts hadn’t contributed their one biggie.

So, talk about One Hit Wonders. Write about your favorite one if you like, or one that surprised you because you thought they’d be a many-hit wonder, or anything else that catches your fancy on the topic.”

I tend to agree with Dave. I love a good One Hit Wonder. My iPod is full of them! In trying to decide which one I would write about I looked online decade by decade and scanned through countless songs. How do I pick just one? The 1950’s brought us Earth Angel by the Penguins, Tequila by the Champs, and Sea of Love by Phil Phillips. The 1960’s brought us Hey Baby by Bruce Channel, Wipe Out by the Surfaris, Cool Jerk by the Capitols, and 96 Tears by ? and the Mysterians. The 1970’s offered up Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum, Bang a Gong by T Rex, My Sharona by the Knack, and Black Betty by Ram Jam.

If I had to guess, I’d say the 1980’s brought about more One Hit Wonders than any decade (I could be wrong). At least it seems that way. There was Funkytown by Lipps Inc, Tainted Love by Soft Cell, Mickey from Toni Basil, Puttin’ on the Ritz by Taco, Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Da Butt by EU and SO many more (including my choice).

I used to have a book that had great write ups on many of the best One Hit Wonders by Wayne Jancik.

Without that book at my disposal, I glanced through a list on Wikipedia, which can be found here:


As I looked through the list, there were many that stood out for one reason or another. I actually think that I could do a feature on my blog called “One Hit Wonder Wednesday” and keep it going for weeks! There was one song that took my back to some fun times in high school. I remember picking up the single on 45 and recording it to our cruising “mix” tape.

The Georgia Satellites debut album hit stores in 1986 and their debut single was Keep Your Hands to Yourself. The single was released in November of 1986 and it reached the number 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in February of 1987. The only reason it didn’t hit number 1 was Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer.

Many consider the band a rock band, but I would call them more of a Southern Rock band. I remember hearing the opening guitar lick on the radio for the first time and it just stood out from the “pop” stuff that filled the airwaves. There were so many songs that were heavily produced and loaded with synthesizers at the time, so it really caught my ear.

As soon as Dan Baird started singing I was hooked. His voice was rough and he sang with almost a yodel as he belted out one of the great first lines in song: “I gotta little change in my pocket goin’ jing-a-ling-a-ling…” The line came to him on a bus ride.

In a Rolling Stone interview he said that he was riding a bus home from a construction job he was working at the time. He says his mind was “full of Carl Perkins licks and four dollars in change” in his pocket. “Yes, that’s dumb,” he says of the opening lyric. He began to fall asleep on the drive. “I thought of the yodel part as I was passing out, and I thought, ‘You better wake up. You’re onto something.’ It basically wrote itself on the bus ride home.”

While the song was released to mainstream radio, some country songs began playing it. Baird said the band was thinking, “This is a rock & roll song; it’s not a country song! We love country music, we know what it is – we’re not it!”

Many country singers cite “Hands” as an influence to their music, including Chris Stapleton, Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, and Travis Tritt to name a few. Moore says, “I played that song a million times in a bar. It is one of those songs that instantly, from the time you kick it off, people go nuts. It’s a perfect American rock & roll song.” Stapleton calls it “a monumental piece of rock & roll.”

The song was a staple at weddings and parties for years when I was DJing. When I hosted karaoke between radio gigs, it was one that someone came up to sing every night. It is a song that party crowds and bar crowds loved alike.

I could be mistaken, but I believe that this was the song that often was the first song on our driving tape. It was the perfect song to set the mood as my and my buddies would go out wasting gas with the radio turned up. Naturally, we were all singing along, most likely off key!

As I listened to it one final time before writing this, I was surprised at something. The song is 3:25 long. Believe it or not, the guitar is the star. The song consists of 2:09 minutes of guitar and only 1:16 of vocals. I guess that really doesn’t matter though, because people still jam (and probably play air guitar) to it.

While the group only really had this one hit, they do have some other songs worth checking out. I believe Max from the Power Pop blog recently wrote about their cover of Hippy Hippy Shake, which was in the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail. They also do an amazing and rocking cover of Whole Lotta Shaking Going On. My buddy Steve and I liked their song Battleship Chains from their debut album. I’m sure you can find You Tube links to those songs.

Thanks to Dave for once again finding a great topic and allowing me to be a part of this feature. I’m looking forward to reading about the One Hit Wonders that the other bloggers will be writing about. As I looked through that wiki list, I kept thinking, “Max will be picking that one” or “Dave will be writing on that one.” Can’t wait to see the other selections!

Keep Your Hands To Yourself

I got a little change in my pocket goin’ jing-a-ling-a-ling
Wants to call you on the telephone baby, a-give you a ring
But each time we talk, I get the same old thing
Always no hug-ee no kiss-ee until I get a weddin’ ring
My honey my baby, don’t put my love upon no shelf
She said don’t hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself

B-B-B-baby baby baby why you wan’ treat me this way
You know I’m still your lover boy I still feel the same way
That’s when she told me a story, ’bout free milk and a cow
And said no hug-ee no kiss-ee until I get a weddin’ vow
My honey my baby, don’t put my love upon no shelf
She said don’t hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself

See I wanted her real bad, and I was about to give in
But that’s when she started talking about true love,
Started talking about sin
And I said, honey I’ll live with you for the rest of my life,
She said no hug-ee no kiss-ee until you make me your wife-a
My honey my baby, don’t put my love upon no shelf
She said don’t hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself

6 thoughts on “Turntable Talk #7 – One Hit Wonders

  1. Great write up Keith…and I commented on the other one also…but thank you for the mention again…if you can today…listen to “Another Chance” by them…it’s great. I think they would have made it longer if their timing would have been better. This rock song was like a breath of fresh air on the radio back then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that song! It’s funny though what is a 1 Hit Wonder your side of the Atlantic. Over here, the band also had a hit, albeit minor, with ‘Battleship Chains’ which seems to be a staple of any ‘driving rock’ compilations. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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