When I returned to my car after a quick stop at the Seaside outlet mall, the outdoor speakers were broadcasting a song from the late 60s. Without giving it a second thought, I began singing along: “I think it’s so groovy now, that people are finally getting together… Reach out in the darkness…” and so on and so forth.
When I got home, the song was still running laps in my head. But who did that song? Thinking my memory was going, I looked the artist up on the Internet (God Bless Google!). “Friend and Lover”? Who the heck were they? Did they ever have another hit?
I am a naturally curious person, so I dug a little deeper. Ona site sporting “One-Hit Wonders” I reacquainted myself with the likes of The Fendermen, The Safaris, Flying Machine, Napoleon XIV, Richard Harris, and Zager and Evans. They all performed songs in the 60s I can still sing by heart. One song each.
Today is the 28th annual “Great Columbia Crossing.” That’s the one Sunday each year when people on foot may legally traverse the Meglar-Astoria Bridge across the Columbia River as part of a sanctioned 10K (6.14 miles) run/walk. I did the bridge walk, as it’s called locally, in 2001, 2003 and 2004. Three times across the bridge is not a fluke—it’s a statement. I had something to prove and I proved it. I didn’t want to be a walking “one-hit wonder.”
In November, 1995, my first book came out. Since then I’ve created two poetry chapbooks and had stories and articles accepted by numerous magazines and newspapers. But no more books. It wasn’t entirely my fault; the publisher I worked with suffered an economic downturn and I was left without a ready outlet.
Fast-forward to November, 2009. My very own BOOK NUMBER TWO will finally be released, and I will no longer by a “one-hit wonder” on the publishing scene. Hip-hip-hooray for me!
And for you, because I know you’re racking your brain, the one-hit artists listed above were responsible for (in this order), “Mule Skinner Blues,” “Wipe Out,” “Smile a Little Smile for Me,” “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-ha,” “MacArthur’s Park,” and “In the Year 2525.”
You might have gotten two or three of them yourself, but this way, I know you’ll sleep better tonight.