Monday, November 3, 2008

Joan Weber

Wayne Janick wrote The Billboard Book Of One-Hit Wonders. It’s a whole other phenomenon, one-hit wonders. I won’t get into definitions here – one hit on the top 40? One hit on the top 100? Let others decide today.

Joan WeberJoan Weber, she was the consummate one-hit wonder. I don’t know if she is in Janick’s book; maybe the period he covers starts later. But here it is, she was signed up to Columbia by Mitch Miller himself, then when her big hit was riding the top of the charts she went and had a baby, so she couldn’t tour, so poof goes the promotion, and she recorded more songs, but she never had another hit.

And this all amuses me, because her song, “Let Me Go Lover,” was number on the Billboard chart released on January 1, 1955, (according to Whitburn anyway; I have another book that says it was “Mr. Sandman:, phooey), and 1955 is generally considered to be the first year of the “rock and roll era,” which is, among other things, the era of the one-hit wonder. So how prescient was that.

I picked this up on a K-Tel type album that I got at Comic World. I will tell you about Comic World but that will have to wait.

And why, anyway, did Billboard publish an edition on January 1? Didn’t they have New Year’s Day back then?

- sound bite: Bandstand Boogie - theme from American Bandstand, by Lex Baxter. It bookends this collection. Wait for it to come round again...

Joan Weber:

  • Let Me Go Lover – a weepy ballad this is, and the words are basically a prewrite of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” which the Supremes did 12 years later. There were competing versions by Teresa Brewer and by Patti Page, and Hank Snow did it, but he sang “Let Me Go Woman” and the way he spit out “woman” was like a swear word, and Homer & Jethro did it, but they called it “Let Me Go Blubber.”

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