One-hit wonders? No, they have more to deliver

At Onondaga Community College campus on Saturday, Aug. 2.

At Onondaga Community College campus on Saturday, Aug. 2.

Oh, the world of the one-hit wonder.

How many bands would have killed for that single hit, that taste of fame, the bucks that may have come along with it.

How many bands wave their hands at that notion, saying, we don’t measure our worth in mass popularity, maybe even making a bit of fun at those people who do?

How many bands who’ve been there declare, hey, wait, we were so much more than that one song that caught fire and made it the radio days?

Well, Saturday on the campus of Onondaga Community College, the bands that will take the stage for a day of remembering when have that big hit for fans to cheer about, certainly.

And, their fans will all stand up and yell, there is so much more than that.

The official title of the event is Benny’s Lost 80s Bash to benefit the Carol
M. Baldwin Research Fund of CNY.

It’s this year’s version of the fundraiser from Syracuse’s adopted son power rocker Benny Mardones. It starts at 4 p.m., and includes 80s music
standouts A Flock Of Seagulls, Naked Eyes, Tommy Tutone, Dramarama,
Animotion and Christopher Anton of Information Society.

In fact, they’ve combined for more than a dozen Top 20 songs.

Tickets are free at Syracuse-area Geico locations. Donations at the campus are $10, or more if you wish. It’s an outdoor show. But if it rains, the music can move inside the campus SRC Arena.

Mardones will perform with his Syracuse band, the Hurricanes. His big chart hit is “Into the Night,” which has the honor of making the Billboard Top 40 twice, in 1980 and again in 1989. But Mardones’ legion of Syracuse fans of course will also be standing for “Sheila C,””How Could You Love Me,” “Heart in My Hand” and the songs they’ve been coming to hear him sing year after year.

Last year, Mardones’ benefit show packed fans in a Sharkey’s in Liverpool. My dear wife Karen and I wsent, and it was a fine night.

“We proved it could work last year, and now we are doing it bigger and
better this year,” said Mardones in a news release about the show. “This whole show is about giving back to the people of Syracuse, the people who saved my life when I needed it most. We have assembled a once in a lifetime lineup of legendary bands. Syracuse has never seen anything like this. We have Grammy winners, musical icons, MTV legends, some of the most loved songs in music history! There is something like 15 Top 20 songs and eight Top 10 songs between all
these acts. It’s going to be an amazing fun once in a lifetime show!”

Organizers hope the show draws 5,000 to 8,000 fans.

The bands will play short sets of their greatest hits.

More information can be found at

What’s your favorite song from this collection of bands? Did you like “Into the the Night” more when it was a hit in the early 1980s or late 1980s? Were you ever tempted to get a Flock of Seagulls hairdo?

42 thoughts on “One-hit wonders? No, they have more to deliver

  1. I LOVE so many “one hit wonders”, but I do appreciate that in the 80s, we had the option of only buying the “single.” (And I thought the Flock of Seagulls hair guy was cute, by the way!) LOL!


  2. I will second Colleen’s comment and also, enjoyed Beth’s! I sang those numbers quite a lot but loved, “Into the Night,” too. I am not sure which version I was listening to on the radio, that is a tough call (later 80’s probably?) I would think this place would be rocking and having a Blast! Hope you have a great time, Mark!


      • Live music always gets me, old recognizable songs are always fun to hear and remember what was going on during that time! I think that my favorite songs are from the seventies, but try to stay current. My children liked the late 80’s and the youngest tends to listen to local music. Fun times ahead and hope the weather is good. I am unsure if I caught if it is outdoors? Take care!


  3. I’ve managed my share of bands and single acts in my time and you (used) only need one hit to make enough to live on for the rest of your life….if the sales are high enough and the royalties continue to flood in long after from radio air-play, TV and Movie soundtracks, commercials and marketing products….life can be great. Living with the disappointment is another matter. Some are relieved and others are suicidal. Having a hit is fantastic but a lot of musicians and artists are in the business to make music and entertain; not every one wants to be the next super group or mega star. As a manager, I just wanted my artists to do the best they could and of course, make me some money too…interesting article; good luck with the benefit.


  4. I like two Naked Eyes songs; I listened to them yesterday. I had forgotten about “Into the Night,” which always sounded like a throaty Steve Perry to me.


  5. Sounds like a great time Mark. Back in the 80’s I was more of a 60’s and 70’s fan music-wise. But in the 2000’s I have enjoyed going to bars that feature 80’s cover songs and dancing my butt off to them!
    Diana xo


  6. Hey Mark – Thanks for the write up! I think we figured out these bands actually 16 Top 20 hits and 7 top 10 hits.

    When we were putting this show together I was surprised how many songs I know by some of these bands:

    Flock OF Seagulls – “I Ran,” “Wishing(If I had a Photograph of you),” “Space Age Love Song” and “The More You Live The More You Love” were all MTV staples. They even won a Grammy..

    Naked Eyes- “Promises, Promises” and “Always Something There To Remind Me” are classics.

    As someone noted above – Animotion had two top 10 hits.

    Also- Robert Tepper will be performing his hit “No Easy Way Out,” with Benny. That was a Top 20 hit from the Rocky IV soundtrack. Robert is the co-writer of Into The Night.

    And the best part is you can still get free tickets to this show – just got to!


  7. When I hear some of the one-hit wonders, I ponder why that was the only hit for that person or group. Some of those songs are excellent.

    As for Benny Mardones, I have adored him ever since he was so kind and thoughtful when meeting our youngest daughter, Jenn, at a 95X event (where I worked at the time). Jenn was and still is a huge fan of his. In our family, he is a Superstar and deserves to be up there with the biggies. Sorry we won’t be able to attend this event. Great write up, Mark.


  8. My husband played in a band for many years and often says that even just having one hit is a huge accomplishment and he is right! I say embrace that one hit and feel blessed that you have the opportunity to play music and bring joy to others. “Always something there to remind me” by Naked eyes is definitely a favorite of mine!


  9. Love those old songs, they bring back good memories. Does your town have more concerts and such than others Mark, or is it that I notice because you highlight them? Syracuse seems to be a hoppin’ and happen’ town.


  10. I’m a big fan of Animotion’s song “Room To Move”, which was actually a #9 hit (Just three notches below where “Obsession” peaked). The other thing I noted when I did my post on faux-One Hit Wonders a while back is that in the picture I posted of the band, the lone female in Animotion had the second shortest hair in the quartet. Only in the 80’s…


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