Creating art is hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would do it and everyone would be successful. Even those who can create art–the people with the right stuff for this sort of thing–have a finite supply of brilliance on which to draw.
Take Margaret Mitchell, for example. She wrote exactly one novel. But that novel was Gone with the Wind
. Pulitzer Prize. Thirty million copies sold. A classic movie with multiple, multiple Academy Awards. Endless adaptations. It even got her face on a postage stamp. Gone with the Wind, first published in 1937, was and still is a cultural phenomenon.
But that’s all she ever did. After ol’ Marge hit it out of the park on the first pitch, she stopped while she was ahead. She is probably the greatest literary one-hit-wonder of all time.
Why, though? Maybe that’s all she had in the tank. Or maybe she looked at all the success and said “Right! My work is done here. Anything else I do will be a letdown.” Totally get that.
Other artists, though, keep trying after that one hit. But for whatever reason, the magical pixie dust they managed to harness that one time disappears forever.
Man, to get a taste of standing on the mountaintop only to be denied it a second time forever. But–and let’s be clear about this–at least those one-hitters made it to the top, even if it was just once. And if they’re lucky, that one trip can sustain them for the rest of their careers and even the rest of their lives.
This is another program featuring those who got to the top just one: Great alt-rock on-hit-wonders of the 90s, part 2.
Songs featured on this show:
- Dishwalla, Counting Blue Cars
- Stars, Hum
- Cornershop, Brimful of Asha
- K’s Choice, Not an Addict
- School of Fish, Three Strange Days
- Sparklehorse, Some Day I Will Treat You Good
- Primitive Radio Gods, Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand.
Eric Wilhite’s playlist looks like this
The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
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