I know this may discourage you from reading any further, but this is a group of underwhelming tunes, save for one classic. They belonged in the Bubbling Under crew during chart week #9. Let me know if you disagree.
Ray Stevens – Shriner’s Convention (debuted on 3/1/1980, peaked at #101)
With Ray, you either get saccharine (Everything Is Beautiful, Misty) or cornpone (all the other crap). I’m not sure who finds stuff like this funny, but I bet they have a Big Mouth Billy Bass on the wall of their living room too.
Barbara Mandrell – Years (debuted on 3/1/1980, peaked at #102)
After a decade of recording, Barbara notched a Top 40 hit in 1979 with a cover of Luther Ingram’s If Loving You Is Wrong. She’d aim for the Pop charts one more time with her next album, Just For The Record, and this ballad became her third Country #1. Wayne Newton’s version later in the year would reach #35.
Sue Saad and the Next – Won’t Give It Up (debuted on 3/1/1980, peaked at #107)
Here’s a New Wave quintet from Santa Barbara that had the energy but never the right song to catapult them to success. They only recorded one album but contributed to multiple soundtracks such as Roadie and Radioactive Dreams. One of their songs was covered on Sheena Easton’s debut album.
Mac Davis – Hooked On Music (debuted on 3/7/1981, peaked at #102)
This Country rocker was Mac’s follow-up to the #51 single, Texas In My Rear View Mirror, and details how he got into songwriting and performing. We could have all guessed it was because of Elvis, and it was for the chicks.
Toto – Goodbye Elenore (debuted on 3/7/1981, peaked at #107)
After a successful 1978 debut and mildly popular follow-up, this sextet’s third album completely stiffed. All of the music is well-performed and arranged, but their progression into a harder rock sound at a time when Pop programmers were looking for something mellow kept them from getting on the radio. Of course, they refocused and put out Toto IV, so….
Blues Brothers – Going Back To Miami (debuted on 3/7/1981, peaked at #108)
The schtick has finally worn off by their second live album, Made In America, though Dan and John had more success with these characters than I’m sure they ever imagined. I never understood the point of the SML skits, but I loved the movie. That said, I never need to hear two White sketch comedians sing the blues ever again.
Bobby Womack – If You Think You’re Lonely Now (debuted on 3/6/1982, peaked at #101)
BW had his last Top 40 hit in 1974, Looking For A Love and true gritty Soul was never gonna get on Pop radio during the 80s no matter what he did. This #3 R&B hit was from his 1981 album, The Poet, and was originally released as the B-side to the first single, Secrets.
Henry Paul Band – Brown Eyed Girl (debuted on 3/6/1982, peaked at #105)
Henry was the original guitarist for the Country-rock outfit, the Outlaws. He left in 1979 and recorded three albums with his new group. Released from his Anytime album, this Van Morrison cover was the last time he sniffed the Hot 100 again.
Jean-Luc Ponty – As (debuted on 3/6/1982, peaked at #108)
French fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty had been recording albums for two decades, playing with the likes of Frank Zappa, George Duke, and Elton John. His 26th LP, Mystical Adventures, contained this electronic Stevie Wonder cover, co-produced with Arif Mardin, which was just odd enough to get as far as Hot 100 Bubbler.
George Clinton – Atomic Dog (debuted on 3/5/1983, peaked at #101)
The Bomb! Parliament and Funkadelic completely fell apart at the start of the 80s. But George continued to funk on and created one of his most sampled tracks of all time. Hell, this single from his first solo album, Computer Games, basically launched Snoop Dogg’s career. It will reach #1 on the R&B charts but inexplicably get stuck here as a Bubbler.
Jon St. James – Oogity Boogity (debuted on 3/3/1984, peaked at #105)
Jon has spent most of his career recording music for TV shows such as Hill Street Blues and Dawson’s Creek. But he had a few moments of Pop success, such as this New Wave flavored dance track from his debut, Trans-Atlantic. He also produced Bardeux’s Top 40 hit, When We Kiss, and Stacey Q’s 1986 smash, Two Of Hearts.
Ted Nugent – Tied Up In Love (debuted on 3/3/1984, peaked at #107)
Between 1976 and 1980, The Nuge had seven entries on the Hot 100 with one Top 40 hit, Cat Scratch Fever. This was the lead single from his tenth release, Penetrator, and will bungle itself up in knots. He’ll be back in the Top 40 in 1991 as a member of Damn Yankees.
Jack Wagner – Premonition (debuted on 3/2/1985, peaked at #101)
General Hospital’s Frisco Jones wanted to be a real-life musician, so he recorded an album in 1984 with producer Glen Ballard and collected a #2 hit, All I Need. This was the follow-up single, which immediately went on life support but was flipped to the B-side before finally flatlining.