(Pictured: the British group Ashton Gardner and Dyke who put one indelible hit on the American charts, but for a single week.)
What we’re dealing with here is the latest installment of One Week in the 40, a series examining all of the records that spent a single week on the Billboard Top 40 between 1964 and 1986. What follows are a few more records that represent their performers’ lone visit to the Hot 100.
—In 1971, “Resurrection Shuffle” by Ashton Gardner and Dyke spent the week of August 7 at #40. But it went to #5 at WLS in Chicago in September, and it was a Top 10 hit in San Francisco, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Cleveland, Boise, Vancouver, Cincinnati, Louisville, Toronto, and other places. It is an absolute rager that should be played as loud as possible.
—Soul singer Freddie North was the first to record “She’s All I Got,” and he took it to #39 for the week of November 27, 1971. Johnny Paycheck put it out at the same time and went to #2 on the country charts, but his version—the better of the two, I think—made it only to #91 pop. The song was written by Gary U.S. Bonds and Jerry “Swamp Dogg” Williams.
—“Back When My Hair Was Short” by Gunhill Road has been a favorite at this blog since always, originally produced by Kenny Rogers but recut by new producers to soften its original, more sex-and-drugs-oriented lyric. It’s yet another example of a phenomenon we’ll see frequently in this series: a song that was a fairly big hit in a lot of places, but not enough places at the same time to push it high up the national chart. It topped out at #40 for the week of June 2, 1973.
—“No Charge” by Melba Montgomery was a #1 hit on the Billboard country chart, written by the great Harlan Howard, who wrote or co-wrote the country monuments “I Fall to Pieces” and “Heartaches by the Number,” among others. Compared to those, this is a bit of a trifle, but its sentimental, heart-tugging domesticity was practically guaranteed to be a smash. It reached #39 for the week of June 8, 1974. A cover version by a man—J.J. Barrie—would hit #1 in the UK exactly two years later.
—“Dance Across the Floor” by Jimmy “Bo” Horne is easily mistaken for something by KC and the Sunshine Band, but the fact that it’s not KC and the Sunshine Band is a distinction without a difference, and I say that as a fan of KC and the Sunshine Band. “Dance Across the Floor” spent the week of June 24, 1978, at #38.
—You will notice that there are some pretty famous records in this series: “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan, for example, and also “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. It’s more famous for being the first song ever played on MTV and not for its success on the radio, hitting #40 for the week of December 15, 1979. Of its 56 citations at ARSA, only 11 of them are from American stations; the rest are from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
—The Jones Girls backed Diana Ross in the late 70s and made “You’re Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else” with Gamble and Huff, although you’d never guess it from the straight-up disco beat. It reached #38 for the week of August 18, 1979, and spent 11 weeks on the Hot 100 in all. The record was a monster R&B hit and certified gold, one of very few records on this list to achieve that milestone.
Coming in the next installment, whenever I get around to it: more extremely big stars just nicking the Top 40.