They may have been a flash in the pan but they are the songs that everyone knows — the one-hit wonder.
“It must be hard to deal with. You have this big No. 1 hit, you tour the world and everything is crazy for awhile but you can’t follow it up and you just dwindle away,” said Rann Berry, lead singer for Rann Berry and the One Hit Wonders. “I say they call them one hit wonders because they sit around wondering what the hell happened.”
The group has taken those tunes that may have been novelty, a summer-time jam or a quirky dance song and created a Las Vegas type show. They have sold out the Kelowna Community Theatre twice and are bringing their eight-piece band to the Cleland Community Theatre in Penticton on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m.
“It’s those big hits from the 60s and 70s that you forgot you loved because they were big, big hits but just one-hit wonder bands,” said Berry. “It is so amazing because everyone who comes to the show doesn’t think they are going to recognize the songs and they end up recognizing and loving every single one of them.”
Three familiar Penticton faces will be on stage with Justin Glibbery, Chris Manuel and Dean Bates in the horn section. The show is also a fundraiser for the Pen High music department, which Glibbery is the instructor of. The senior high school band will open the show and join in near the end with Rann Berry and The One Hit Wonders for the 1974 hit Hooked On A Feeling.
“It will be a great experience for the students. I really find that a lot of the kids in the music program, in the last five years especially, gravitate towards older music because they find the actual music from the 70s and 80s is actually better than most of the pop music of today,” said Glibbery. “For them to be playing on the same bill as a show like this, a lot of them think it is just great. It’s older music but we have some pretty open-minded students and as a result we play a lot of stuff from this era anyways.”
Any funds raised from the concert will go towards replacing items from the music department and helping pay for the extra-curricular things they do. It will be one of a few main means of fundraising for the music department this year.
Berry said he recruited the assistance of Glibbery, whom he has known and played in bands with for about 20 years, because he knew he could musically chart the scores of the show. Berry wants everything to be tight and bang on with no room for error.
“Things have to end right on the money and start up perfectly. This is an eight-piece show band, something like you would see from Tom Jones or a big Las Vegas band. You need that to do these songs properly so they come across just how the record sounded,” said Berry, adding they also have professional dancers and props making for an interactive and fun show.
Some of the hits you should expect to hear include Seasons In The Sun, Kung Fu Fighting and Indiana Wants Me. Berry said he spent two years researching and agonizing over what songs to pick and getting the look for the show. He discovered some of these big hits were accidental.
“The DJ would play the wrong side of the record they were sent and it caught on. These songs were never meant to be a hit. That is the whole dilemma, because typically a B-side is a throw away. If it becomes your big hit it might not even be like any of your other stuff. It was almost a career killer in some cases,” said Berry.
Many of the songs are ones that those in the band grew up on, that is why Berry said they are so passionate when they play them. They actually love every song, as do most people.
“It is unbelievable the crowd response we get. There are people singing along, spontaneous applause, standing ovations right in the middle of a song,” said Berry. “We couldn’t believe we have had so many people come out to our shows but it is that love for the songs combined with the great show we have.”