Another little series this one about one-hit wonders. It is surprising to note that all of these songs are memorable but just had their one shining moment for the artists and no other great hits followed. This is the sixth and last post in this series. The links to the others are below.
The House of the Rising Sun
“The House of the Rising Sun” I know is a song many of you will recognize. It gained popularity when the British rock band The Animals recorded it in 1964 and is one of the best-known versions.
This song is a traditional folk song that is also called “Rising Sun Blues”. The song tells the story of someone’s life gone wrong in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. The song was collected in Appalachia in the 1930s. When it was recorded by the American rock band Frigid Pink their version became a one-hit wonder for them. Today the version by The Animals is the one most remembered and still played on oldies radios.
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
I wonder how many of you remember a beautiful actress and singer Vicki Lawrence. She was on the popular TV show “The Carol Burnett Show”.
“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” is a Southern Gothic murder ballad. It was written in 1972 by songwriter Bobby Russell and first recorded by his wife actress and singer Vicki Lawrence. The song quickly rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As a surprise to Lawrence on the final episode of the sixth season of “The Carol Burnett Show” Burnett presented Lawrence with an RIAA Gold record for this recording.
Yesterday When I Was Young
American country singer and musician Roy Clark never made it to the status of popularity like some other singers in various music genres. However, he had a likable voice and when he sang he told melodic stories. This is among my favorites and always brings a tear to my eyes.
What is interesting is that this lovely, sentimental song has French beginnings. Originally it was “Heir encore” which translates to Just Yesterday or Not So Long Ago. It was composed by Georges Garvarentz with the lyrics by Charles Aznavour in 1964.
“Yesterday When I Was Young” became the most popular version in English. It was recorded by Roy Clark. It became his biggest hit and charted on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The song also became associated with Clark. In 1995 Clark performed the song at the funeral of baseball great Mickey Mantel, as his personal request.
You Light Up My Life
I am sure there are those of you who remember singer Pat Boone and later his daughter Debby Boone. Debby Boone struck gold when she recorded “You Light Up My Life”, however for me the song was nice to listen to until it got overplayed on the radio.
“You Light Up My Life” is a ballad that was written by Joseph Brooks. It was originally recorded by Kasey Cisyk for the soundtrack album of the 1977 film of the same name. The song really took off when it was recorded by Debby Boone and went right up to number one on the charts.
The single was certified Platinum by the RIAA and became a number- one hit also on the Adult Contemporary chart. For her version, Boone won the 1978 Grammy Award for Best New Artist. This is the song she is most remembered for.
You’re My World
The song “You’re My World” is a cover of an Italian ballad that was originally recorded in 1963 titled “Il mio mondo”. The English version had lyrics written by Carl Sigman. The most memorable version of this song was recorded by English singer Cilla Black in 1964. I remember how beautifully she sang and every time the song came on the radio I had to stop what I was doing and listen to it.
The song quickly topped the charts at number one in the UK and other places around the world. This song got her a recording contract. Black remade the song twice once in 1985 for her Surprisingly Cilla album and in 1993 for her Through the Years album.
After Black passed on in 2015 hundreds of fans started singing her hit “You’re My World” at her funeral mass. It might have been her one-hit-wonder but it sure was a very memorable one. In the photo is a picture of a bronze statue of Cilla Black on Matthew Street in Liverpool, England. The statue is outside of the entrance to The Cavern Club where Black was discovered depicted standing on an oversized 45” single copy of the song.