One-hit wonders are more common than we notice, mostly because we don’t know an artist won’t have another hit until years later. Sometimes having one hit can hide other accomplishments.
Barry De Vorzon is one of those multi-talented artists who seem to dabble in lots of things: singer, songwriter, producer, and manager. He successfully wrote a few rockabilly tunes that reached the charts in the late fifties and early sixties.
In an unusual move, in 1960, he and Billy Sherman formed their own record label, Valiant Records. The label’s very first release was Shelby Flint’s Angel On My Shoulder, which was released in 1960 and rose to #22 early the next year. Distribution for the label was handled by Warner Brothers Records, and after over a hundred singles were released, the label was discontinued and some of its remaining artists simply absorbed by Warner Brothers.
Valiant Records released Rhythm Of the Rain by the Cascades, a record that reached #3 on the Hot 100 in 1963. Barry was the co-writer of the b-side of the record and tried to get the Cascades to record another song he had written. The group was not impressed by I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight, and went on to record a series of failed singles that doomed them to be a one-hit-wonder.
Barry and two of his songwriting friends (Terry Smith and Bodie Chandler) went ahead and recorded I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight, and the single was released on Valiant Records as Barry and the Tamerlanes. The single reached #20 near the end of 1963, and somehow also reached #23 on the R&B chart.
The song that Barry and the Tamerlanes recorded is not at all related to the Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart song, I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight that was a top ten single in 1968.
In 1966 Barry signed the Association to a recording contract and produced their first single, a cover version of the Bob Dylan song One Too Many Mornings. While that single did not reach the charts, the group did get to lip-sync the single on Hollywood A Go-Go. Valiant Records went on to release the first two Association albums, the top ten single Along Comes Mary, and the chart-topping Cherish. The Association was one of the groups that successfully moved to Warner Brothers Records when Valiant Records was absorbed in 1967.
Barry began to compose soundtracks for movies and television and went on to an award-winning career. Some highlights include a Grammy Nomination for Nadia’s Theme, an Academy Award for the soundtrack to Bless The Beasts And The Children, and six Emmy Awards. He also composed the soundtrack to Xanadu, which was a failed film that spawned a very successful soundtrack album.