Movie: “That Thing You Do” / One Hit Wonders / 1955

Gary: “I have been spending the last two months, (other than carrying on my life) on One-Hit Wonders from 1955 through to 1969.  The fad really hit it’s stride around 1958, more new music, new artists, new record companies, the large record companies losing some control especially “Cover Records”, the market wanted the new artists and the colour barrier was coming down. 

Now, I am not naive enough to believe that the Record executives had no control; they still had control and would exercise it again in 1959 when the first wave of real Rock and Roll came to and end and the companies would replace it with white Pop Music. I also did a post on one of my favourite Music Movies ‘American Graffiti’ and the reaction was so favourable that I am taking a look at the ‘Good’ Rock and Roll or Music films. 

Now here comes my point: One-Hit Wonders and Rock and Roll Movies;  I can combine them in One excellent Movie.  In 1996 the movie actor, Tom Hanks, wrote, directed and supplied the music for a delightful movie about a one hit wonder band, called ‘That Thing You Do’.

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The Movie, ‘That Thing You Do’, will never win an Academy Award, but if you have never seen it, do yourself a favour and watch it.  It is a Musical / Comedy about a One-Hit Wonder band in 1964 and the music business.  It is one of the better Music Movies.
Trailer /
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Title Song /
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We are on the Radio /
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Dance with me Tonight /
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The entire movie is here in 10 min segments /
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Music:

And now “One Hit Wonders” 1955

Gary:  “I was listening to some tunes the other night, when the ‘One Hit Wonder’ category came up.  Now I have never liked the term ‘one hit wonder’; I would prefer ‘Single Hit Artist’, but I will go with what the world has accepted. 

I thought this would be a fairly straight forward project that I could cover over the next 2 weeks (it is July 28, 2012 first day of the Olympics).  I spent about 5 to 10 hours researching the project and boy, was I incorrect!  I will still do the project, but rather than look at the one-hits by decade, I will do them year by year, starting at 1955 and going into the 70’s.  So let’s take a look

One Hit Wonders
1955
It was starting, slowly but it was happening and I was there.  Cover records and control by the large record companies still existed; they did not like Rock and Roll, did not understand it, but it was selling.  Alan Freed gathered a number of “Black” R&B Artists and put them on his first Rock and Roll Show in New York.  He was not sure if  they would be successful, but over 15,000 people bought tickets and showed up; it was the greatest advance sale in history.  Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock was used in the movie “Blackboard Jungle” and it rocketed to the #1 position around the world.  The small labels were starting to make inroads, and the “royalty of Rock and Roll” (Elvis, Bill Haley, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard) all had a good year in a “White Conservative Market”.  RCA paid $35,000 for Elvis and the Sun singles, that one I have never really liked.
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Earth Angel / February 1955 / The Penguins / #8 BB /
Penguins
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JohnnyAce When the record was released, Johnny had accidentally shot himself, playing Russian Roulette, December 1954
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The Crazy Otto Medley / February 1955 / Johnny Maddox and the Rhythmasters # 2 BB 
CrazyOtto He will be 85 Aug / 2012
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  ChuckMillerLeft us in the year 2000
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  DeJohnSistersVery little is known about them.
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NappyBrown Nappy left us in 2008, he was 78.
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Hey Mr. Banjo / June 1955 / The Sunnysiders / #12 / BB
Sunnysiders The woman in the group is “Margie Rayburn” who in 1957 would have the #9 song “I’m Available”.  They have all left us since then.
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JoanWeber She lived a reclusive life and left us in 1981.
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Open Up Your Heart (and let the Sunshine In) / April 1955 /  The Cowboy Sunday School / #8 BB
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LennyDeeLenny left us in 2006 at the age of 83.
–o–

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4 responses to “Movie: “That Thing You Do” / One Hit Wonders / 1955

  1. The page wont open !!

    Try again…

  2. This is NG. Does not go to a web site

    . Drew

  3. I happened to be in L.A. when “That Thing You Do” was being filmed. A lot of the scenes were shot on a main street in Orange, California. I couldn’t believe the detail they went to to make it look like the 50’s. The stores on both sides of the street had window displays that took me right back to the era with dress shops, 5 & dimes, record shops, furniture stores, appliance stores, etc. all with very authentic displays. I think the movie was set in some place like Philadelphia and to make it look authentic I remember they glued literally thousands of green leaves to the branches of a tree on the main drag. They must have had 100 vintage cars ready to be called in on a scene when needed. I recall a scene where the father of the star pulls up to his appliance store and gets out of a white ’60 Valiant; it was a short scene but the actor did it several times until Tom Hanks stepped in and showed him how to do it correctly and with more enthusiasm.

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