This week, the Morning Groove and Flashback Friday will be featuring songs that were considered “one-hit wonders”!
This was borne out of a comment conversation between Lisa from the Life Of An El Paso Woman blog and I about a couple weeks ago when I posted Tara Kemp’s “Hold You Tight” as the Morning Groove of the day. I would also like to thank Lisa also for doing a little research on what exactly defines a “one-hit wonder.” According to Wikipedia (I know, it may or may not be trustworthy, but anyway), it’s an artist who had only one song make the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40. They could have had hits on other charts, or have been huge overseas, but if they only had one top 40 single in their music careers, they are considered a one-hit wonder.
Leading things off this week is a true one-hit wonder. The only song they ever charted anywhere is the Morning Groove for today.
When I first heard this back in 1996, the first thing I noticed was that the beat was familiar. Very much so, in fact. Way back in the summer of 1982, there was a song with the same exact beat (or drum pattern—those are electronic drums after all) that you could not escape. It was boomin’ out of cars. It was blasting on boomboxes. It was pounding out of bars. It was seemingly all over. The song? “Planet Rock,” by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force (which itself owes a small debt to Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europe Express”). Goes a little something like this:
The production team behind “Planet Rock,” Arthur Baker and John Robie, apparently thought so highly of that drum pattern, they used it again in another production on a song that was released a few months later. In the fall of 1982, Planet Patrol released “Play At Your Own Risk,” which had the same drum pattern, but was filled with synthesizers and instead of rappers, had singers doing something like an 80s version of the psychedelic soul vocal approach made famous by the Temptations in the late 1960s (on songs like “Cloud Nine”, “I Can’t Get Next To You,” etc.).
Variations of that drum pattern showed up in other songs around that time, notably “Electric Kingdom” by Twilight 22 and “The Beat Goes On” by Orbit featuring Carol Hall. But for the purposes of today’s Morning Groove, that drum pattern ended up as the spine of the Ghost Town DJ’s only top 40 hit. Well, their only hit period. The song settled at #31 on the Hot 100, and managed to squeeze into the top 20 of the R&B chart at #18. Ghost Town DJ’s were a duo of Rodney Terry and Carlton Mahone (or Mahoney), but I’m betting that neither of them are singing on that track. I cannot find who is actually doing the singing; so her name is lost in the mists of time.
So, there it is. “My Boo” is the kickoff of “one-hit wonders” week. It’s also a nice kickstart to your Monday. Here’s to a good start to the week, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.