Published on April 13th 2010 by Leon Shepherd

This is my list of the Top 10 Male One-Hit Wonders. A one-hit wonder is defined as a recording artist who has one smash hit, then fails to make another hit. ”Another hit” is defined as at least making the top 10 billboard r&b chart, or making the top 20 billboard pop chart. Those were the factors that determined the following list. And by the way, in case you’re wondering or asking, “What about one-hit wonders for females, groups,and  rap artists?”  They will have their own list. But for now, check out The Top 10 list of Black Male One-Hit Wonders. Reminisce, and enjoy! 

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10. Foster Sylvers

 

 

Foster Sylvers (born February 25, 1962), is the youngest of the famous Sylvers family. In 1973, Foster scored a top ten hit, entitled, ”Misdemeanor”.  Misdemeanor, written by older brother, Leon Sylvers, reached #7 on the Billboard charts.

Memorable lyrics:

Pick up on the fact
Take it in stride
Love and devotion
Don’t confide
It’s the tracks of lost emotion
Let it glide
It’s gonna subside
She stole my heart
But it’s just a misdemeanor
You got to get over it
He loved her from the start

 

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9. Junior

 

Junior Giscombe (born Norman Giscombe, 10 November 1961, London of Jamaican parentage) is a singer-songwriter who was one of the first British R&B artists to be successful in the United States.  Junior’s hit, “Mama Used to Say” was also a Top 10 hit in the United States, earning him a “Best Newcomer” award from Billboard magazine.    
 

 Memorable lyrics:

And mama used to say, Take your time, young man…
Mama used to say, Don’t you rush to get old…
Mama used to say, Take it in your stride…
Mama used to say, Live your life…                                                                                                                                                                                               

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8. Keith Washington

 

Keith Washington (born November 15, 1960) is an R&B vocalist from Detroit, Michigan who scored a hit single in the United States in 1991 with “Kissing You,” which was also used as background music for a General Hospital on ABC. “Kissing You” was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance and won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single, Male.  

 Memorable lyrics:                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Tonight’s the night we will share.
Turn off the lights, come close to me.
Tell me I’m all you’ll ever need.
Tell me it’s not just a dream.
And if it is, my heart believes… that you are mine and this is real, oh…oh…

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7. Major Harris

 

Major Harris (born Major Harris III, February 9, 1947, Richmond, Virginia) is an American R&B singer.  Harris scored a Top Ten single “Love Won’t Let Me Wait”, which peaked at #5 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.  “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” was awarded a gold disc on 25 June 1975.   

Memorable lyrics:

The time is right.
Turn down the lights, and take my hand.
We’ll take a flight, and spend the night in wonderland.
Now move a little closer to me, you owe it to yourself.
And I will selfishly, take a little for myself.
And it’s because of you, that love won’t let me wait.
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6. Oran “Juice” Jones

Oran “Juice” Jones (born 1959, Houston, Texas), is a former Soul and R&B singer known for his song “The Rain”.  “The Rain” became a hit in 1986, peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.   

 Memorable chorus:

I saw you (and him) walking in the rain.
You were holding hands and I’ll never be the same.
                                                                 

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5. Rockwell

 

Rockwell (born Kennedy William Gordyon March 15, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former R&B performer who was signed to the Motown label. Rockwell is the son of Motown founder and CEO Berry Gordy. To avoid seeming nepotistic, Rockwell secured his record deal without his father’s knowledge. Motown came up with the name Rockwell. Rockwell changed his name because he believed he “rocked well.” In 1984, Rockwell released his biggest hit single, “Somebody’s Watching Me”, featuring childhood friends Michael Jackson on guest vocals (notably in the chorus lyrics), and Jermaine Jackson singing back-up. “Somebody’s Watching Me” became a Top 10 pop hit in the US, peaking at #2, and a #1 R&B hit.                                                                                                                                                                                   Memorable Chorus:
I always feel that somebody’s watchin’ me…
And I have no privacy.
I always feel that somebody’s watchin’ me…
Is it just a dream?

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4. Eddie Holman

 

Eddie Holman (born June 3, 1946, Norfolk, Virginia) is a singer and recording artist. He is best known for his 1970 hit song “Hey There Lonely Girl”. “Hey There Lonely Girl” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc in March 1970.   

Memorable chorus:

Hey there lonely girl, lonely girl.
Let me make your broken heart like new.
Oh, my lonely girl, lonely girl.
Don’t you know this lonely boy loves you.
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3. Frankie Smith

 

Double Dutch Bus” from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is best known for his 1981 hit, “Double Dutch Bus.” The song rocketed to popularity in a matter of weeks. On the U.S. Billboard R&B chart, it held the number one spot for eight weeks. It also crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 30 in the summer of 1981. The record has received two separate gold certifications, one for sales of the 7″ edit, and a second gold record for sales of the 12″ single. 

Memorable lyrics:

Give me a Ho, if you got your funky bus fare. Ho!
The Double Dutch bus is coming down the street, moving pretty fast so kinda shuffle your feet.
Get on the bus and pay your fare, and tell the driver that you’re going to a double dutch affair.
Fe Fi Fo Fum.. While I’ll be darn, here it comes.
The Double Dutch Bus is on the street, You better get off the curb.. move your feet.
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2. Carl Douglas

 

Carl Douglas(born 1942) is a Jamaican-born singer, most famous for his song “Kung Fu Fighting”, which hit number one on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart in 1974. He now resides in Los Angeles where he runs a publishing company that coordinates films, documentaries, and advertisements.   

Memorable lyrics:

Everybody was kung-fu fighting.
Those cats were fast at lighting.
In fact it was a little bit frightening.
But they fought with expert timing.
                                                

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1. Gregory Abbott

 

Gregory Abbott (born April 2, 1954, New York City, New York) is a musician, singer, composer and producer. Abbott is best known for his hit, “Shake You Down.” The song was not only a number one hit on the Billboard charts, but it also went platinum.  

Memorable chorus:

Read my mind.
Girl I wanna shake you down.
I could give your all the loving you need.
Come on let me take you down.
We’ll go all the way to heaven.

Music | Comments (41)


41 Responses to “Top 10 Male One-Hit Wonders”

  1. rod moore Says:

    What no Timmy Thomas Why cant we live together # 3 onbillboard in 1973. Also Manu dibango with Soul makossa.

  2. rod moore Says:

    Heres a question if you have hits with a group but one hit as a solo act does that count? If so Dennis Edwards should count. Lots of hits with the temps but one as a solo act with Dont look any further

  3. rod moore Says:

    Sorry I cant do this in one sitting but stuff keeps popping into my head. Leon as a child of the 70s this list kind of disappoints. No William DeVaugh “Be thankful for what you got” George McCrea “Rock your baby” a # 1 song Al wilson “Show & tell” a # 1 song & Van McCoys “The Hustle” also # 1 Junior Foster Sylvers please

  4. Lenora Dorsey Says:

    Great list Leon! I remember these songs. I can’t wait to see the female top 10 one-hit wonders.

  5. Shack Says:

    Okay – know you researched this but I have strong disagreements. How can you not have either of the “ROCK” hits from the 70′s – If I had a dollar for everytime they played Rock Your Baby (George McCrae) or Rock The Boat (Hughes Corp.) on the radio I’d have more $$than Bill Gates. These OHW Hits MUST be on such a list.

    Also believe no kids like F. Sylvers deserve to be listed and Abbott No. 1 NO WAY. No 1. should be McCrae followed by Rockwell then the Hughes Corporation and Carl Douglas. E. Holman does not belong.

    As for R&B – Does anyone remember the One hit by Bobby Caldwell “What You Won’t Do For Love” (78′) “Livin It Up” by Bell & James, and “Get Off” by Foxxy (78/9′)

    What about Rap – “Rappers Delight” the Sugar Hill Gang and “The Message” by GM Flash, “Bust A Move” by Young MC!

    I’ll have more OHW Hits to come as they come to mind…

  6. Terrance Says:

    you didnt have Carl Carlton. i guess he made another hit after bad-mama-jamma

  7. Shack Says:

    “Aint No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead monster hit in 79′ should be considered.

  8. grapevine Says:

    I would like to add a couple names to the list: William Devaughn – Be Thankful For What You Got (Diamond in the back sun-roof top). Tim Thomas -Why Can’t We live Together, Willie Hutch – Brothers Gonna Work It Out.

  9. Lyn Says:

    Leon you have done it again Great List I love it!

    Keep up the good work. You rock!

  10. Leon Says:

    Rod…Manu Dibango’s great song, “Soul Makossa” peaked at #21 on the R &B chart, and #35 on Billboards top 100. So, he’s not considered a one-hit wonder because he didn’t have a top-ten hit.
    Dennis Edwards hit, “Don’t Look Any Further,” was a duet with Siedah Garrett.
    Al Wilson, had a second hit with a song entitled, “I’ve Got A Feeling We’ll be Seeing Each Other Again.” The song peaked at #3 on the R&B charts.
    In addition to “Be Thankful for What You Got”, William DeVaughn had another top ten R&B hit, “Blood is Thicker Than Water.”
    Many people think that George McCrae was a one-hit wonder, but he wasn’t. McCrae had another top-ten r&b hit, “I Get Lifted.” It peaked at #8.

    I agree that Van McCoy, was definitely a one-hit wonder. “The Hustle” was a monster hit.
    And Timmy Thomas was also a one-hit wonder.
    Good comments!

  11. Leon Says:

    Thanks Lenora!

  12. Leon Says:

    Shack, your answer to many of those you mentioned is found in the introduction of The Top 10 Male one-hit wonders.

  13. Leon Says:

    Yes Terrance, Carl Carlton did have another hit. “Everlasting Love.” It peaked at #6.

  14. Leon Says:

    Grapevine… Willie Hutch’s “Brothers Gonna Work It Out, didn’t do as well as the other songs on the list.
    And regarding the other singers you mentioned, please refer to my comments to Rod Moore.

  15. Leon Says:

    Thanks Lyn, I appreciate the positive feedback!

  16. Shack Says:

    Leon – Good retort on I Get Lifted. Oh, now I Get it…THESE HAD TO BE SOLO Acts – Is That It? Read it but didn’t “Get It” ” Okay I’ll put my thinking cap back on. Shack rests when he’s on point and admits when he’s wrong !!

  17. Shack Says:

    How about Lenny Williams “ILove You” He was with Tower of Power but did this one solo and made nothing alse anyone can recall – It is the National Anthem for begging brothers!

  18. rod moore Says:

    Didnt do any research just going off of what popped into my head but as a follower of american top 40 since the 70s the definition of a one hit wonder is someone that cracks the top 40 chart once. This is because it combines all charts not individual charts. many artists have hits on r&b charts country charts and so on but if they crack the top40 once they are considered a one hit wonder. look up william devaugh on one hit wonders of the 70s hes there regardless of any other records. its like an american record vs a world record the world record carries the prestige. I know this is your list but I thought Id pass that on.

  19. Shonee Says:

    Great list Leon. My parents listened to these songs and I enjoy listening to them today!

    Im curious to know if Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band had any other albums out? I only have the one with “Play The Fool” on it.

    #10 – love this song…I still have the 45 record
    #9 – 80′s era..cant still remember what I was doing when this song was out
    #8 – its a beautiful ballad
    #7 – lol, growing up this song was “nasty” to me!
    #6 – Same comment as #9
    #5 – This song became a hit because of Michael!
    #4 – Ive heard this song…
    #3 – “Rebecca, Lolita, LaShaun and Dawn, everytime you do the double dutch, you really turn it on!” Jumping double dutch was the neighborhood thing! Great memory of that song!
    #2 – Ive heard this song…
    #1 – The song sold because of the background vocals

    I still have the 45 record of Foxxy’s “Get Off”!

  20. Shonee Says:

    Correction to my response. #9 – 80′s..CAN still remember what I was doing when this song was out

  21. rod moore Says:

    How about teen idol one hit wonders? Thats where Foster sylvers belongs.

  22. Shack Says:

    My goal is to come up with at least three bonafide “solo” OHWs overnight and will report these in the morning…

    I rescend my comment about G. Abbott now knowing the song went platinum. By the way, does anyone recall he was once married to a three hit wonder -Freda Payne!

  23. Leon Says:

    Shack, you’re right! Lenny’s song, “I Love You” is the National Anthem for begging brothers.
    As far as a one-hit wonder, the song was hit on hit r&b charts but didn’t achieve crossover appeal. The other songs on the list did.

  24. Leon Says:

    Very good comments, Shonee.
    And by the way, here’s a list of Dr. B’s albums…
    Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band (1976)
    Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band Meets King Penett (1978)
    Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band Goes to Washington (1979)

  25. Leon Says:

    Rod, I don’t think there are enough legitimate teen idol one hit wonders for a top 10 list of their own.

  26. Shack Says:

    As promised here are three more OHWs…
    1. Luther Ingram “If Loving You is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right”

    2. Bobby McFerrin “Don’t Worry Be Happy”

    3. Tom Browne “Jamaica Funk” Although I do beleive he may have had another hit after this one! Speaking of another hit, I must question the Junior selection because he had another semi-hit with “Too Late”

  27. Leon Says:

    Shack – Luther Ingram had another top 10 r&b hit called, “I’ll be your Shelter”.
    Junior’s song “Too Late” was a top 20 hit in the UK, but wasn’t as big in the U.S.

    Bobby M. & Tom B. are definitely one-hit wonders.

  28. Shack II Says:

    Who/What the heck is a Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savanah Band? Please name the one hit…

  29. Trisha Says:

    Leon, again I receive and education. I’d like to agree or disagree but as you know so much is over my head. I do remember most of these songs. My one question, do any of these OHW owe taxes I’m still waiting on my refund?…lol

  30. Shonee Says:

    Shack, you are 100% correct on Bobby M “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

    LOL! As most Facebookers would say, Im ROTFLMBO..Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band was a group fom the 70′s..I was just curious to know if they had any other albums out besides the one from 1976. Their songs were “Cher Chez Le Femme”, “I’ll Play The Fool” and “Sunshowers”

  31. Shack Says:

    Ms. Shonee – Thanks for claryfying…Sure I’ve heard the song(s) but I had never heard of the group.

    Shack is old school and doesn’t do Facebook, twitter or text! If my job hadn’t given me a cell phone, I wouldn’t have one of them! However, I am into this blog which is evident but what is ROTFLMBO?

  32. Shonee Says:

    Hey Shack! Glad I can clear that up for you. Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Butt Off, lol

  33. Shonee Says:

    There is Shack and Shack II…uh oh, lol!

  34. Leon Says:

    Shonee, I thought I was the only one who had noticed that their is a Shack & Shack II. lol

  35. bococalady Says:

    Deon jackson
    jackie Lee
    Bobby taylor and the Vancouvers
    The Elgins
    Barbara Randolph

  36. Leon Says:

    Bococalady…I had to do some research to respond to the names you mentioned.
    Here’s what I found…
    Deon Jackson did have one top-five hit, ” Love Makes The World Go Round.” So he would qualify for the list.
    Barbara Randolph, formerly of “The Platters”, wouldn’t qualify, because this list was for males only.
    Jackie Lee had a top-twenty hit called “The Duck.” Since the song didn’t make the top-ten, he wouldn’t qualify for the BlackTT list.
    The others on your list are groups, and this list was only for solo artists.
    Thanks for sharing! I hope to hear from you again.

  37. Shack Says:

    There IS ONLY ONE SHACK but for those who care or must know, Shack is from the PC at work and Shack II is from the one at home!

  38. Shack Says:

    Found this album in my archives recently(yes I still play some vinyl from time to time)!

    What about former Prince guitarist Jesse Johnson and “Can You Help Me”…Would he qualify?

  39. Leon Says:

    Shack…In 1984, J. Johnson had 3 top ten R&B hits. “Can You Help Me,” reached #3, “Be Your Man,” reached #4, and “I Want My Girl,” reached #7.
    In 1988, he had another top 10 R&B hit, “Love Struck,” which reached #4.

  40. rod moore Says:

    Sorry to backtrack but I had to. We missed one one hit wonder. Was listening to a rerun of American top 40 last night & Clint Holmes Playground In My Mind from 1973. Howd we miss that one?

  41. Leon Says:

    Rod, I had completely forgotten Clint Holmes top 10 hit, “Playground In My Mind”.
    Clint Holmes is a great addition to the male one-hit wonders list.
    Thanks for bringing it to my attention.