That time ‘one-hit wonders’ collided on the radio 50 years ago

Having a hit record — even if it’s a one-hit wonder — has always been the goal for most musicians. But, exactly 50 years ago, one performer took it to the extreme.

Starting in February 1970, Tony Burrows, a British recording session singer, had three top hits, with three different one-hit wonder bands, all at the same time — and few people knew it.

Burrows sang lead vocals on “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes),” a 45 r.p.m. single for studio group Edison Lighthouse, which reached No. 5 on the U.S. charts. When the song became a hit, a group was quickly pulled together, with Burrows singing, to perform on the BBC’s “Top of the Pops” show.

The next month, “My Baby Loves Lovin’,” by studio group White Plains, with Burrows singing without credit on the 7-inch vinyl, became a hit, reaching 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

And, in April 1970, The Pipkins’ novelty single “Gimme Dat Ding,” made it to No. 9 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 in the U.S. and was featured on American Bandstand’s “Rate A Record” segment.

Burrows also sang on the Brotherhood of Man’s “United We Stand,” which also charted well, in 1970, resulting in another “Top of the Pops” performance.

Four years later, Burrows attempted to sound like a Californian, and reached the Top 5 with “Beach Baby,” by another studio creation, The First Class. By the time the song became a hit, other musicians were hired to lip-sync to Burrows’ vocals on TV performances.

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