The Forgotten Follow-Ups
Updated: Jan 1, 2021
The Music Explosion, Every Mother's Son, and The Shocking Blue. These groups are considered "One-Hit Wonders." Have you ever wondered if they actually had more than just one record? Didn't they have a follow-up to their hit? Let's take a look at a few.
Music Explosion - Sunshine Games
The Mansfield, Ohio group had a smash hit in the spring of 1967 with their version of "Little Bit O' Soul" (originally done by a U.K. group called The Little Darlings). The song reached #2 nationally, but topped #1 on several radio station surveys in cities like Miami, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and in every major city in Ohio.
Very rarely do you hear their follow-up record, "Sunshine Games." It's a fun pop tune that came out (appropriately) in the summer of 1967. While the record did very well in Ohio, it did not make a dent in the major markets, but became a regional hit in smaller cities. Nationally the song hit #63, but reaching the top 10 in Cleveland and Cincinnati.
In all, the Music Explosion had 10 singles that charted on a handful of radio stations across the country. Even a cut from their lone album, a cover of Terry Knight & The Pack's "Love Love Love Love Love," charted in Flint, Michigan, Boston, and even Montgomery, Alabama.
Every Mother's Son - Put Your Mind At Ease
Hailing from Greenwich Village, Every Mother's Son scored a hit in the summer of 1967 with the Wes Farrell and Jerry Goldstein penned "Come On Down To My Boat Baby." The song was originally done by The Rare Breed a year earlier. The Rare Breed is also noted for recording "Beg Borrow and Steal," but the credit went to The Ohio Express.
Do you remember Every Mother's Son's follow- up? Released in the late summer of 1967, "Put Your Mind At Ease" nearly cracked the top 40 nationally at #46, but did hit the top 10 on a few small market radio stations.
The group wasn't through yet. They had two more singles reach the Billboard Top 100, "Pony With The Golden Mane," and "No One Knows." Their final single, "Rainflower," came out in the early fall of 1968, but only managed to be a Hit Bound record on one radio station: WRAW in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Bob Seger System - Ivory
There's no doubting Bob Seger's Hall of Fame status, but it took quite some years and perseverance to finally break through. His first charting record hit #103 nationally, an absolute floor shaker called "Heavy Music," which sold over a million copies in Detroit alone.
His first big national hit came with his second Capitol single "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" in late 1968. He wouldn't have another national top 40 hit for another 7 years! In between he released some records that are worthy to be heard over and over again.
Bob Seger System's follow-up record was "Ivory," a heavy blue-eyed soul record that displays Seger's Motown roots. The stereo only single was a regional hit, mostly around Michigan. The song hit #12 on CKLW in April of 1969. If you can't find the single, you can find this killer cut on The System's debut album "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man."
So what was their first Capitol single? A powerful anti-war song called "2+2=?" It didn't chart nationally, but reached #79 in Canada, and all the way up to #1 on WLOF in Orlando, Florida. The single version differs as there's a powerful distorted guitar drone that sounds very much like a large military aircraft that is heard towards the end of the song that is replaced by silence on the album version.
The Shocking Blue - Mighty Joe
Let's spotlight one more single from a group that's considered a "one-hit wonder" in America, but that's certainly not the case over in Europe where they had 14(!) singles chart in the Netherlands, most of them in the top 20!
Their lone American hit is "Venus," which topped the charts in early 1970. The follow up, "Mighty Joe," hit the top 5 in Germany, France, and The Netherlands, and nearly cracked the top 40 on the U.S. Billboard charts at #43, but that would be their last charting record in America. Despite not cracking the top 40, the song got plenty of airplay in St. Louis, Orlando, and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The Shocking Blue went on to have 9 more hits in the Netherlands, all hitting the top 15. In fact, Mighty Joe's follow-up record "Never Marry a Railroad Man" hit #1 in the Netherlands.