One Hit Wonders, 1972 Edition by Rich Paschall
As usual, there was a long list of one-hit wonders in 1972. Many do not hold up well over time. Some were not very good in 1972, to be honest. Here are ten of my favorites that are celebrating a golden anniversary. Before we begin, however, I have to award an honorable mention.
All In The Family hit the airwaves in 1971 and the story of Edith and Archie Bunker became a big hit for CBS. The opening theme song, “Those Were The Days”, became so popular with audiences that it has been said that Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton opted to sing it live for the studio audience before every show. The opening was recorded six different times over the run of the series, once with longer lyrics. A version with additional lyrics was released in 1972 and made it onto the charts.
Carroll O’Conner also wrote lyrics for the closing theme of All In The Family, Remembering You, and released that in 1972 as well.
For this list, I did not include two that were on my Top 20 for the year: Brandy and Precious and Few.
10. It Never Rains In Southern California, Albert Hammond. Ok, sometimes it does rain. This song rained royalties for the singer-songwriter. He wrote some hits for others, but this is his only recording to crack the Top Ten.
09. Me and Mrs. Jones, Billy Paul. They had a thing going on, and they made it to number one. That was the end of it as he never got near the top again.
08. Oh Babe, What Would You Say? Hurricane Smith. The English record producer and engineer had a hit of his own, written by his wife.
07. Day by Day, Original Cast album. In the musical Godspell, performers sing and act out parables, or biblical stories. At one point they remind each other to take things “day by day.” This recording by the cast made it onto the charts.
06. All The Young Dudes, Mott the Hoople. The band was floundering when David Bowie offered the group this song and produced the album, their first album for Colombia. It was their highest charting single in the US.
05. Why Can’t We Live Together, Timmy Thomas. The singer-songwriter wrote his only hit single. It was his reaction to reports of the Viet Nam war. Sade covered it in 1984 with some success.
04. Hold Your Head Up, Argent. Rod Argent had some success as the leader of the Zombies. “Time of the Season” became a hit for the Zombies when Argent left to form Argent. This was their one-hit-wonder.
03. Sunshine, Jonathan Edwards. Released in late 1971, the song reached number 4 by January 15, 1972, It was actually released due to a mistake. An engineer had inadvertently erased a song for Edwards’ first album, and this song was used as a filler.
02. Sauvecito, Malo. The “smooth” sound was a fusion of Latino jazz and rock. The group splintered after the release of the first album, with many original members moving on. The guitar player, Jorge Santana, has a rather famous guitar-playing brother. Jorge passed away in 2020 but not before Carlos could perform this song with his brother.
01. Dancing in the Moonlight, King Harvest The band covered the song previously recorded by Boffalongo in 1970. King Harvest disbanded before this song hit the charts.
Performance videos do not exist for some of these short-lived bands, while the quality of others is questionable. We had to fall back to the original recording for most. To hear any song, click on the title. For the entire 1972 One Hit Wonders playlist, click HERE.
See also and listen to: “Music & Memory: I’ll Take You There,” Golden Oldies, 1972 Edition (part 1), SERENDIPITY, October 2, 2022.
“More Than Memories,” Golden Oldies, 1972 Edition, part 2, SERENDIPITY, October 9, 2022.