One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Timex Social Club

“Rumors” by Timex Social Club

The Timex Social Club is a R&B/funk music group from the Oakland/San Francisco Bay area. In addition to being known for their smash hit, “Rumors”, the Timex Social Club were major forerunners to the New Jack Swing movement. this style was a combination of R&B with hip hop rhythms.

In 1986, the group released their debut album, Vicious Rumors. It contained the hit “Rumors”, which peaked at #8 on August 16, 1986 on the Billboard Hot 100. They released two follow-up singles, “Thinkin’ About Ya” and “Mixed-Up World“, which did not do well on the mainstream charts, but did well on the R&B charts.

They have not had any hits since then. I have not heard any “rumors” of any hits on the near horizon for the Timex Social Club, so let’s Return to 1986 and to the group’s glory days, and listen to some “Rumors”:

Daily Trivia: 1/23/12

Question: In National Lampoon’s Vacation, how long was Wally World going to be closed?

A. one day
B. two weeks
C. one week
D. two months

Last Question: What three colors are mentioned in the lyrics of “Karma Chameleon”?

Answer: Red, Gold and Green

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams,
red gold and green, red gold and green.

“Karma Chameleon” spent three weeks at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 starting on February 4, 1984, becoming the group’s biggest hit and only US #1 among their many top ten hits. The song was a huge hit across the globe, hitting #1 in sixteen countries worldwide, and top ten in several more.

Remember That Song? – 1/23/12

Can you name the song and artist, and complete the lyrics:

I want to squeeze you, please you, I just can’t get enough
And if you ____ ____ ____ _ ___ __ __

Last Song: “Crimson and Clover” originally by Tommy James and the Shondells, then redone by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts:

Ah when she comes walking over
Now I’ve been waitin’ to show her

Tommy James and the Shondells

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Boys Don’t Cry

“I Wanna Be a Cowboy” by Boys Don’t Cry

Boys Don’t Cry are a British group founded in 1983 by Nick Richards. They would go on to release two full-length albums: a self-titled debut in 1986, which included “I Wanna Be a Cowboy”, and a follow-up the following year titled Who the Am Dam do You Think We Am. The second album was simply released in America as Boys Don’t Cry, creating some confusion, since the band now had two consecutive self-titled albums released within a year of each other.

The single “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” was released in 1986, and was a big hit, peaking at #12 on June 21, 1986. Unfortunately for the band, they could not gain any traction and deliver any more hits.

On July 30, 1997, co-writers Nick Richards and Brian Chatton sued Paula Cole, Warner Brothers Records, and Imago Records, along with remix producers DJ EFX, Big Ed, and the E-Team, for $7 million in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claiming that Cole’s remix of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” used the phrase “I wanna be a cowboy” 24 times in the same style and syntax as their song and constituted copyright infringement.

Nick Richards and keyboardist Brian Chatton teamed up again recently. Who knows if they will be able to put together another hit. In the meantime, Cowboys and Cowgirls, here is the hit song from Boys Don’t Cry, “I Wanna Be a Cowboy”:

Daily Trivia: 1/20/12

Question: What three colors are mentioned in the lyrics of “Karma Chameleon”?

Last Question: In Laverne and Shirley, what brewery did Laverne and Shirley work for?

Answer: Shotz Brewery

For Laverne and Shirley‘s first five seasons, from 1976 to 1980, the show was set in Milwaukee, where the girls were bottlecappers at Shotz Brewery. The brewery was based on the Schlitz Brewery. Laverne and Shirley’s basement apartment was on Knapp Street, which wasa real street near the Schlitz Brewery in Milwaukee.

Here is the show’s opening and closing during the Milwaukee years:

In the sixth season opener in 1980, the girls lost their bottlecapping jobs to new automation installed at Shotz Brewery. So they moved to Burbank and took jobs as gift-wrappers at Bardwell’s Department Store.
Here is the opening from the Burbank years while Shirley was still there:

Cindy Williams, who played Shirley, was pregnant and felt the producers were uncooperative and using her pregnancy as an excuse to ease her off the series. So she left the show and filed a lawsuit agaist Paramount Pictures. They settle out of court. So for the last season of Laverne and Shirley, there was no Shirley! The explaination on the show was that Shirley quickly fell in love and married Army medic Walter Meany (making her Shirley Feeney-Meany), and discovered one episode later that she was pregnant. She left a note to Laverne that she had left town quickly to join her husband overseas. Laverne began working in an aerospace testing facility and did not need another roommate.

And that was the show’s final season. The combination of a missing title character, and then competeting against a little show called The A-Team, finished it off. Here is the final season’s theme song:

Remember That Song? – 1/20/12

Can you name the song and the original artist as well as the artist who covered it in the ’80s:

Ah when she comes walking over
Now I’ve been waitin’ to show her

Last Song: “Hazy Shade of Winter” by Simon and Garfunkel and then by the Bangles:

But look around, leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Simon and Garfunkel

The Bangles

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Sly Fox

“Let’s Go All the Way” by Sly Fox

Sly Fox was a short-lived duo, consisting of Gary “Mudbone” Cooper, an African American funk session musician and former vocalist with Parliament-Funkadelic, and Michael Camacho, a Puerto Rican-accented vocalist. They only released one album – Let’s Go All the Way. The title track from the album turned out to be a smash hit in the U.S., peaking at #7 on April 12, 1986.

Their follow-up singles, “Stay True” and “Don’t Play With Fire” did not sell very well. Since the dissolution of the band, Cooper has remained involved in the music industry. His most recent album, Fresh Mud, was a collaboration with Dave Stewart that combined blues and rap. Meanwhile, Camacho has concentrated on jazz singing, and he released his solo album Just For You.

Their one hit has been a lasting impact, as it is played on retro flashback programs and 1980s nights at dance clubs.

Now “Let’s Go All the Way” back to 1986, and listen to some Sly Fox:

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Opus

“Live Is Life” by Opus

Opus is an Austrian group that formed in 1973, and is still active today. However, their song “Live Is Life” remains their best known song. The song was created during a concert in Oberwart, on September 2, 1984, while the group celebrated its eleven years of existence. “Live Is Life” topped the charts in many countries – most notably Canada where it was #1 for seven weeks in late 1985 and early 1986. In the U.S., the song peaked at #32 on March 29, 1986. The band also has had success with other songs in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. But, this was their only hit in the U.S. It did make an impact though, as the New York Islanders adopted it as their official goal song for the 2010-2011 NHL season.

Here is Opus at the pinacle of their existence with their hit song, “Live Is Life”:

Daily Trivia: 1/19/12

Question: In Laverne and Shirley, what brewery did Laverne and Shirley work for?

Last Question: Who joined McDonald’s cast of characters in 1980, promoting their breakfast menu?

Answer: Birdie the Early Bird

Birdie the Early Bird was the first female McDonalds character, introduced in February 1980 to promote the company’s new breakfast items. She was often portrayed as a poor flyer, and somewhat clumsy in general.
Here is a commercial featuring Birdie the Early Bird:

And here is a commercial of Birdie learning to fly:

Remember That Song? – 1/19/12

Complete the lyrics and name the original artist, as well as the artist who covered it in the ’80s.

But look around, leaves are brown
And the ___ __ _ ____ _____ __ ______

Last Song: “War” originally by Edwin Starr, and covered by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Bruce Springsteen:

They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord, there’s just got to be a better way

Edwin Starr

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Bruce Springsteen