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1981 One Hit Wonders page

One Hit Wonders from 1981 at Tunecaster

Here are the US 1981 one hit wonders. All the one hit wonder songs by the artists you remember, and maybe some one hit wonders you forgot. Find a one hit wonder.
One Hit Wonders Home Page


red # = rock chartblue # = pop chart

  1 Together 16   Jan 1981  
  Tierra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Together was originally recorded by The Intruders. Tierra also blended in lines from Cowboys To Girls, another The Intruders record. Tierra did not have another top 20 song, making this a top 20 one hit wonder.  

  2 Let's Do It   Mar 1981  
  Convertion  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Let's Do It was the most popular song by Convertion. The group received slight airplay with other dance songs too like Sweet Thing. Convertion was also known as the word correctly spelled, Conversion.  

  3 Precious To Me 20   Mar 1981  
  Phil Seymour  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Precious To Me was the only top 20 hit for Phil Seymour. He followed-up with other songs that received minor airplay. The song was written by Phil Seymour. and from album Phil Seymour.  

  4 Just The Two Of Us 1   Apr 1981  
  Grover Washington, Jr. with Bill Withers  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Just The Two Of Us was the only top 20 song and a number one hit for 'Mister Magic,' jazz superstar Grover Washington, Jr.  

  5 Somebody's Knockin' 7   Apr 1981  
  Terri Gibbs  
    YouTube    
  Although Somebody's Knockin' was the only top 20 hit by Terri Gibbs, she followed it up with a string of country songs that received radio airplay.  

  6 Love You Like I Never Loved Before 22   May 1981  
  John O'Banion  
    YouTube    
  John O'Banion was an movie actor and a singer in group Today's Children. This top 20 near-miss was by far his most popular song.  

  7 What Are We Doin' In Love 12   May 1981  
  Dottie West With Kenny Rogers  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Country superstar Dottie West had a top 20 one hit wonder with What Are We Doin' In Love. Although Dottie was a country superstar, she received very little pop radio play.  

  8 Medley 1   Jun 1981  
  Stars On 45  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This only top 20 hit by Stars On 45 was commonly referred to as 'Stars On 45.' The single version of the song was called Medley: Intro - Sugar Sugar - No Reply - I'll Be Back - Drive My Car - Do You Want To Know A Secret - We Can Work It Out - I Should've Known Better - Nowhere Man - You're Going To Lose That Girl - Stars On 45. Most of these songs were originally by The Beatles. The success of this medley kicked off a dance medleys craze.  

  9 Shaddap You Face   Jun 1981  
  Joe Dolce  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Shaddap You Face received moderate airplay for Joe Dolce. Later in the year, he received some notice for his Christmas song, The Twelve Days Of Christmas.  

  10 Is It You? 10   Jun 1981  
  Lee Ritenour  
    YouTube download at Amazon  

  11 Edge Of Sundown 15     Jul 1981  
  Danny Joe Brown And The Danny Joe Brown Band  
    YouTube    
  Danny Joe Brown left group Molly Hatchet and had this one rock top 20 hit song.  

  12 Believe It Or Not (Theme From Greatest American Hero) 1   Jul 1981  
  Joey Scarbury  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although number one song Theme From Greatest American Hero was the only top 20 hit by Joey Scarbury, he followed the song with a few very minor hits. The song was from the TV show The Greatest American Hero.  

  13 Sweet Baby 15   Jul 1981  
  Stanley Clarke/George Duke  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although Sweet Baby was the only top 20 hit by either Stanley Clarke or George Duke, both had extensive careers in jazz music and session playing.  

  14 Seven Year Ache 25   Jul 1981  
  Rosanne Cash  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although Seven Year Ache was the only top 30 song by Rosanne Cash, she was a major country star.  

  15 Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through 10 25   Jul 1981  
  Jim Steinman  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through was a one hit wonder for Jim Steinman. Jim Steinman wrote and arranged many popular songs for group Meat Loaf, and for many other artists like Air Supply, Bonnie Tyler, and Celine Dion. Jim Steinman song Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through was from album Bad For Good. This song was written by Jim Steinman.  

  16 Double Dutch Bus   Aug 1981  
  Frankie Smith  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Double Dutch Bus was the most popular song for Frankie Smith. He received minor airplay with the song Triple Dutch also.  

  17 Main Street U.S.A. 20     Aug 1981  
  Union  
    YouTube    
  Main Street U.S.A. was a rock top 20 one hit wonder for rock and metal group Union. The song was from album On Strike.  

  18 It's Now Or Never 29   Aug 1981  
  John Schneider  
    YouTube    
  This remake of the 1960 Elvis Presley number one song It's Now Or Never was by far the most popular song by John Schneider, and has been called a one hit wonder.  

  19 Not Fade Away   Sep 1981  
  Eric Hine  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Eric Hine received some international notice with this dance remake of 1958 Buddy Holly classic song. This song was written by Norman Petty and Charles Hardin.  

  20 No Time To Lose   Sep 1981  
  The Tarney/Spencer Band  
    YouTube    
  No Time To Lose had received some rock radio play in 1979. The song became most popular in 1981 when it was one of the early videos presented on new video cable channel, MTV. The song was written by Trevor Spencer and Alan Tarney. and from album Run For Your Life.  

  21 General Hospi-Tale   Sep 1981  
  Afternoon Delights  
    YouTube    
  General Hospi-Tale was a rap about the daytime TV soap opera General Hospital. The Afternoon Delights, a tribute group, did not have any other song out.  

  22 Sausalito Summernight 14   Nov 1981  
  Diesel  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although Sausolito Summernight was the only top 20 hit for Diesel, the group followed-up the song with Goin' Back To China, which received minor album rock radio play. Sausalito Summernight was written by Mark Boon and Rob Vunderink.  

  23 I Want You, I Need You 24   Nov 1981  
  Chris Christian with Cheryl Ladd  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  I Want You, I Need You featured guest singer actress Cheryl Ladd. Chris Christian never had another top 30 song. The song was written by: Chris Christian, J.C. Crowley, Shanon Smith. and from album Chris Christian.  

  24 My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone) 14 13   Nov 1981  
  Chilliwack  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Wanna Be A Star?. It was written by Bill Henderson and Brian MacLeod.  

  25 Let Me Love You Once 29   Dec 1981  
  Greg Lake  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This was the only solo top 30 song for Emerson, Lake & Palmer member, Greg Lake. He is probably better known for his Christmas song classic, I Believe In Father Christmas. The song Let Me Love You Once was from album Greg Lake.  

  26 Shelly's Boyfriend   1981  
  Bonnie Hayes With The Wild Combo  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Shelley's Boyfriend was used in the movie Valley Girl. While Bonnie Hayes released other recordings, her only song to receive noticable national radio airplay was Shelly's Boyfriend. She also wrote songs for other artists like like Bonnie Raitt and Bon Jovi. The song Shelly's Boyfriend was from album Good Clean Fun.  

  27 I Wanna Be A Lifeguard   1981  
  Blotto  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  I Wanna Be A Lifeguard was a popular alternative song. The song received lots of exposure on television beach programs and segments. Blotto did not receive noticeable airplay with any other song.  


Related Song Features for 1981 One Hit Wonders page


1981 Top Pop One Hit Wonders

1Believe It Or Not (Theme From Greatest American Hero)
 Joey Scarbury
2Just The Two Of Us
 Grover Washington, Jr. with Bill Withers
3Medley
 Stars On 45
4Somebody's Knockin'
 Terri Gibbs
5What Are We Doin' In Love
 Dottie West With Kenny Rogers
6Is It You?
 Lee Ritenour
7Together
 Tierra
8My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)
 Chilliwack
9Sweet Baby
 Stanley Clarke/George Duke
10Sausalito Summernight
 Diesel
11Precious To Me
 Phil Seymour
12Love You Like I Never Loved Before
 John O'Banion
13I Want You, I Need You
 Chris Christian with Cheryl Ladd
14Seven Year Ache
 Rosanne Cash
15Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through
 Jim Steinman

Top 100 One Hit Wonders

list of the most popular songs that were by one-time top 20 makers from 1960 To 2000

One Hit Wonders by Year

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 late 1950s

1981 Pop Top 100 Songs

the top pop songs of 1981 in order

1981 Rock Top 100 Songs

the top rock songs of 1980 in order

1981 Number One Pop Song Calendar

number one pop songs on any date, birthday, wedding, graduation, etc

1981 Number One Rock Songs

calendar of rock number one songs

Welcome to the chart archive

Tunecaster Music Encyclopedia and Chart Archive includes one hit wonder pages for every year from 1960 through 2000 including 1981. One Hit Wonders are songs which are the most popular by an artist. There are different views on what qualifies a song for a One Hit Wonder. A One Hit Wonder could be an artist that had only one song in the top 10, top 20, or even top 40. On these pages, strictly speaking, an artist is a One Hit Wonder if the artist had exactly one song make the pop or rock top 20. No artist can be considered a One Hit Wonder who made the top 20 twice. This strict definition may create some strange results where a super group like Metallica makes the Pop Top 20 charts once, despite a long list of rock number one songs. Superstar side projects with temporary or transient names may be technical One Hit Wonders.
Additionally, a One Hit Wonder listed on this 1980 page may be a song that is significantly more popular than other songs by the same artist, even though it did not make the top 20. Is it really a one hit wonder? You decide.

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