Tuesday, October 17, 2017
One-card wonders: update 6
Exactly 40 years ago, the king of novelty records during the 1970s released a so-bad-it's-good 45 called "In the Mood".
Ray Stevens released the song in 1977 under the pseudonym "The Henhouse Five Plus Too" (kind of makes me think of the blasters that advertise "seven packs plus one extra pack!"). It was a song that consisted entirely of Stevens clucking like chickens to the tune of the Glen Miller Band's "In the Mood".
Shockingly, it made the Billboard Top 40, peaking at exactly No. 40, making it officially a one-hit wonder.
Depending on your viewpoint, the song is painful to listen to or amusingly silly. I think the latter. It reminds me of something I would see on The Muppet Show back in the '70s and I was so convinced that I first heard chickens singing "In the Mood" on The Muppet Show that I looked for it online. What I found was the top 10 songs sung by Muppet chickens, but "In the Mood" wasn't one of them.
So how does this song tie into the latest One-Card Wonder post?
Well, since I'm focused on 1977, I have looked up all of the players in the 1977 Topps set who have their only card in that set.
There are five of them. And one of them, like The Henhouse Five song, is so bad it's good:
This painted gem is Rick Jones' only card in a major set. You can find him, looking much more realistic, in several minor league issues, as well as in a Red Sox team photo set.
I've often wondered what Rick Jones thought of this being his only Topps card. It's not even really him. And that's his only major card.
Here are the other one-card wonders from 1977:
The Chip Lang card is very cool, I've thought that since the moment I pulled it in 1977. It's the complete opposite of the Rick Jones card. If you're going to have only one card, make it look like Chip Lang's card!
Lang does have a different-looking card in the O-Pee-Chee set from that year. But it's nowhere as good as his Topps card, and for the purposes of this exercise, it does not count as a second card.
The last time I did a one-card wonder post, I covered 1978, which featured a whopping 10 one-card wonders.
I wanted to compare one of the years next to 1978 and I see that '78 still sticks out when compared with 1977. But there are probably two reasons for that.
The first one is that the '78 set is the first with 726 cards. The '77 set has just 660 cards. The second reason is the 1976 SSPC set effect. There are four players in the 1977 Topps set with only one other card, and that card is in the SSPC set. So I can't count them as one-card wonders.
There are also four other players whose only other card is on one of those multi-player rookie cards. But that disqualifies them as well.
So here now is the updated list:
#344 - Ossie Chavarria, A's
#388 - Arnold Earley, Cubs
#489 - Doug Clemens, Phillies
#497 - Ron Campbell, Cubs
#8 - George Theodore, Mets
#33 - Don Newhauser, Red Sox
#37 - Dave Sells, Angels
#77 - Rich Troedson, Padres
#421 - Dan Fife, Twins
#457 - Chuck Goggin, Braves
#573 - Mike Adams, Twins
#288 - Bruce Ellingsen, Indians
#407 - Herb Washington, A's
#508 - Bob Hansen, Brewers
#524 - John Doherty, Angels
#587 - Chris Ward, Cubs
#651 - John Morlan, Pirates
#118 - Rick Jones, Mariners
#132 - Chip Lang, Expos
#137 - Jeff Terpko, Rangers
#616 - Tommy Sandt, A's
#641 - Dan Larson, Astros
#224 - Jerry Tabb, A's
#303 - Sam Hinds, Brewers
#311 - Jose Baez, Mariners
#386 - Bob Gorinski, Twins
#502 - Pat Rockett, Braves
#516 - Gary Beare, Brewers
#521 - Steve Staggs, Blue Jays
#591 - George Zeber, Yankees
#667 - Jeff Byrd, Blue Jays
#719 - Randy Elliott, Giants
#59 - Eddy Putman, Tigers
#72 - Fred Howard, White Sox
#156 - Tony Brizzolara, Braves
#221 - Joe Cannon, Blue Jays
#233 - LaRue Washington, Rangers
#291 - Randy Scarberry, White Sox
#347 - Harry Chappas, White Sox
#491 - Gordy Pladson, Astros
#356 - Denny Lewallyn, Indians
#116 - George Bjorkman, Astros
#159 - Darryl Cias, A's
#163 - Lorenzo Gray, White Sox
#337 - Kevin Hagen, Cardinals
#382 - Chris Nyman, White Sox
#474 - Greg Bargar, Expos
#491 - John Hope, Pirates
I will probably cover 1979 Topps next to gauge the follow up to 1978. Then I'll tackle some other brands besides Topps.
I apologize if you have that chicken-fed "In the Mood" song in your head now. Here are some other one-hit wonders from 1977. Maybe they'll work better:
"Torn Between Two Lovers" - Mary Macgregor
"Don't Give Up On Us Baby" - David Soul
"Undercover Angel" - Alan O'Day
"Don't Leave Me This Way" - Thelma Houston
"Smoke From a Distant Fire" - Sanford Townsend Band
Hmm, maybe chickens singing big band music isn't so bad.