Forgotten One-Hit Wonders – Inaugural Edition

I warned you. I’m starting a new series of musical posts despite the undeniable lack of popularity of my music-themed blog posts. So, why am I doing it? Because I want to. As with all my posts, I will try and make them interesting with little twists and tidbits for you, like in my last music post where I revealed that my oldest daughter had been the nanny for the children of Ted Nugent’s private pilot. Now that’s information you just can’t Google!

This series of posts will feature forgotten one-hit wonders. I will try and stay away from wacky novelty songs like “Disco Duck” by radio deejay Rick Dees. I want to remember legit bands or solo artists that did their best to break through, but only had one single, solitary hit before retreating into musical obscurity.

Our inaugural edition features a very talented band that has spawned a modern day music mystery. The band released their debut album in 1976 and found themselves with a hit single on their hands that reached #9 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. I’ve got a video for you of their lip-syncing performance of their one hit on The Midnight Special. Even better, they were introduced by none other than the lovely and talented Helen Reddy! Take a look and listen.

The Sanford Townsend Band opened for Fleetwood Mac on their 1977 “Rumours” tour to support this hit song and their debut album. I missed that tour but saw the Mac on their prior tour in 1976 after their self-titled breakthrough album when Jefferson Starship opened for them as part of their “Red Octopus” promotional tour. Now that was a show. I just wish I had been sober and could remember more of that great double bill. Anyway, Sanford & Townsend, et al. tried two more albums to catch more music magic, but they failed to match the popularity of “Smoke From a Distant Fire” and disbanded.

You may be asking, “Where’s the freakin’ mystery?” Well, take a look at the comments section from the video.

Someone with the YouTube account name of rajneeshorrog is claiming to have been the guitarist for the Sanford Townsend Band. In his second comment, he appears to speak guitar well. And how about Howcho who wants to see a band from 1977 perform? So cute.

The lead guitarist for the STB was someone named Roger Johnson. Does Rajneesh = Roger? Maybe. But this guy’s not buying it.

I can see the logic from Dhruv Erry. But fear not as Rajneesh responds.

Well, he referenced the Roger name correctly. I can see Rajneesh becoming Roger. I have a harder time buying Roger becoming Rajneesh. I next took a look at a video posted by rajneeshorrog of a song he’s claiming as his own.

92 views, 5 likes and no comments. No leads there except for the picture in the video. Take a look at the pic, and then take a look at this pic from the actual Roger Johnson from a 2017 online post from an Arizona publication.

They could very well be the same person. I went to try and find Roger Johnson’s website mentioned in the article for more clues, but was unsuccessful locating it. I was able to find his 2017 album on Amazon. No ratings. No reviews. That’s worse than my book of short stories! But I sampled some of the songs on the album, and I like the sound. I think this Roger/Rajneesh issue remains an unsolved mystery. But by all means, keep on rocking until your distant fire is no longer smoking.


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