There It Goes Again

Onward we trudge with the list of one-hit wonders whose only Billboard chart hit peaked at Number 91. We will do some rockin’ in this installment, and precious little cringing, for a change.

“Don’t Pat Me on the Back and Call Me Brother”/KaSandra (12/21/68, two weeks on chart). After striking out with my own research, I had to call on the Stepfather of Soul, a longtime friend of this blog, for help on this one. He says that KaSandra was the alter ego of John W. Anderson, who cut several albums of politically conscious/inspirational material in the early 70s for a Stax subsidiary, and was an MC at the Wattstax concert produced by Stax in 1972. Before that, he co-wrote “Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do,” famously recorded by Bobby “Blue” Bland and Van Morrison. “Don’t Pat Me on the Back and Call Me Brother” is a soulful sermon on the need for real brotherhood instead of the fake variety.

“Alright in the City”/Dunn & McCashen (11/7/70, two weeks). In 1969, Don Dunn and Tony McCashen made an album called Mobius that featured Kenny Loggins on guitar and included “Hitchcock Railway,” a song later covered by Joe Cocker, among others, and “Lydia Purple,” which shows up on a few garage-psych compilations today. Their next album, Dunn & McCashen, was, according to an review in the October 24, 1970, edition of Billboard, was “one of the most important albums of the year.” In retrospect, perhaps Billboard got it wrong.  The review also said: “‘Alright in the City’ is a heavy, gutsy, progressive rock item.'” (In 1970, “progressive” didn’t mean what it would come to mean in just a few years—spacey and symphonic—it just meant, well, heavy and gutsy.)

“There it Goes Again”/Barbara & the Uniques (1/9/71, three weeks). A trio of Barbara and Gwen Livsey and Doris Lindsey, Barbara and the Uniques cut “There It Goes Again” in Chicago. It was written and produced by Eugene Record, lead singer of the Chi-Lites, and was a fairly significant hit on the R&B chart. Although the trio recorded other material, this was the last thing they did that made much of an impact anywhere.

“Solo”/Billie Sans (9/25/71, four weeks). Here’s another fairly anonymous artist and tune. It was released on the Invictus label owned by Holland/Dozier/Holland, and it must have faked out a few radio stations who expected it to be that label’s brand of soul. In fact, it’s extremely lightweight early 70s radio pop (Billboard called it “an infectious Top 40 bubblegum swinger”), licensed from a producer in Houston. It made Number 14 in Saginaw, Michigan, so Sans had that going for him (him?), which is nice.

“She’s All I Got”/Johnny Paycheck (12/18/71, two weeks). I can’t hear “She’s All I Got” without thinking of my parents playing their favorite country station on the big console stereo in the living room. Johnny Paycheck (given name Donald Lytle) scored 11 Top-Ten country hits between 1966 and 1978; “She’s All I Got” rose to Number Two; the legendary “Take This Job and Shove It” (Nunber One in 1977) was the only one of his songs that did any better.

On the flip, the geek-fest continues, with a couple of mp3s.

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