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WRTI Spotlight

Riverwalk Jazz: One-Hit Wonders of the Golden Era

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Image from Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University.

It’s hard to catch ‘lightning in a bottle’—but sometimes it happens. You write a song, a well-crafted composition that captures the public’s imagination, and it becomes one of the best-loved tunes in American music. And then, lightning doesn’t strike twice.

These ‘One Hit Wonders’ of songwriting were bandleaders, or horn players, or even the occasional ‘nobody from nowhere.’ Regardless of who they were, they captured the spirit and soul of America in one big hit song, and were never heard from again.

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