Initially this blog was supposed to be a cheeky paragraph or two about the celebration of musical One Hit Wonders on the 25th of September–National One Hit Wonder Day. I was going to keep it to citing a brief history that Steve Rosen, a music journalist, began this holiday in 1990 to pay tribute to musicians who, as the name states, had one hit that dominated the airwaves and then faded from the public eye. I was going to cite It’s Raining Men and Who Let the Dogs Out? as prime One Hit Wonder examples.
But the more I began to think about this holiday, the more I took issue with the term One Hit Wonder. And the extensive research I did–okay, I Googled and clicked around a little, suggests that I am right. There is a negative connotation to the term One Hit Wonder. It began to feel like National One Trick Pony Day. (which to my knowledge does not exist).
The conclusion I have drawn is that One Hit Wonder Day is a bit of a mean holiday. Maybe it is not intentional, but still. Because, frankly, if you’ve got One Hit, you’ve done a better job on the music charts than I have. After all, any musical aspirations I may have had were dashed when I was shamed by our Middle School Choir Director during eighth grade graduation rehearsals. (think Bobbie Moughan-Culp of SNL fame)
This holiday also made me question who defines success. Sure, if the goal of each of these One Hit Wonders was hit the top of the charts like the Beatles, then hitting it once may not exactly be mission accomplished. But if you take into account how many artists are producing music at any given time, that a person or group gets even one song to the top of the charts or to dominate the radio is a huge feat. How could we possibly know the personal goals of these artists?
And, while I’m ranting, who knows what else these bands and artists created. Just because their subsequent work didn’t make the mainstream doesn’t mean that it has no artistic value. It’s kind of like the whole idea of ” if a tree falls in the woods” does it make a sound? Well, if art hasn’t been seen by the public masses, isn’t it still art?
Now onto a less serious topic. Isn’t the dog with the record adorable…yes, I’m aware he’s photoshopped, I mean, it’s not even a real album!
Happy One Hit Wonder Day!