Here’s another installment of one-hit wonders we missed during the earlier Down in the Bottom series, covering records to peak between Numbers 90 and 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Unlike those in the previous catching-up installment, the tunes on the list that I have been able to find are pretty strong.
“Band of Gold”/Hi-Fi Four (#93, 2/18/56, one week on chart). About this group I have been able to uncover practically nothing. They were a white vocal quartet; some collector websites call them a doo-wop group and say that they recorded on the King label. Their “Band of Gold” is one of three versions of that song to chart in 1956; the best known was by Don Cherry.
“There Must Be a Way”/Jimmy Roselli (#93, 8/12/67, two weeks). Despite its low placing on the Hot 100, “There Must Be a Way” did big business on easy listening radio in 1967, and when you listen to it, you’ll understand why. Roselli is an Italian-American crooner often compared to Frank Sinatra, who was born in the same Hoboken, New Jersey, neighborhood as Sinatra 10 years later. He and Sinatra feuded over the years, for murky reasons. Roselli is said to have been a favorite of New Jersey mobsters. Perhaps he still is, because he’s still around, at age 85, and is active on Facebook.
“A Woman’s Way”/Rozetta Johnson (#94, 12/12/70, one week). Johnson was a gospel singer from Alabama who moved over to the secular market, cut some singles, saw only one of them chart (although they are fondly remembered by Northern soul fans, apparently), and decided to go back to the gospel world. Her voice sounds a bit like Patti Labelle’s, and she wasn’t always served well by her producers, whose arrangements could get a little too busy. The evidence is on Personal Woman: The Legendary Clintone Sessions 1970-1975, which collects her work, including a great version of the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody.”
“She Shot a Hole in My Soul”/Clifford Curry (#95, 5/13/67, three weeks). Hot R&B from Nashville, featuring the creative talents of several people who would go on collaborate with other notables. The co-writer of “She Shot a Hole in My Soul,” Mac Gayden, would become an in-demand session player in Nashville (the distinctive wah-wah guitar on J. J. Cale’s “Crazy Mama” is his) and a founding member of Barefoot Jerry and Area Code 615. The record’s producer, Buzz Cason, has been a Nashville player since the 60s. His partner in Russell-Cason Productions was Bobby Russell, a successful songwriter (“Honey,” “Little Green Apples”) who eventually recorded a few hits of his own (“Saturday Morning Confusion,” “1432 Franklin Pike Circle Hero”). As for Curry, he’s made a career out of his single big hit.
There’s another artist I could include here, but I’m inclined to disqualify him: Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead scored a single Hot 100 hit under his own name, “Sugaree,” which peaked at Number 94 on April 22, 1972, and spent two weeks on the chart. You can include him on your list if you like.
Coming in the next installment: Songs to peak at Number 91. An embarrassing lot of them.