Between late 1979 and the end of 1989, there were nearly 500 (real) one-hit wonders of the 80s that reached the BILLBOARD Hot 100 just one time, a list that includes Soft Cell, Gary Numan, Timbuk 3, The Church, Bronski Beat, Nik Kershaw, The Buggles, The Waitresses, Ultravox and two different bands named The Silencers. Once a week, I’ll highlight a (real) one-hit wonder for you.
This week’s (real) one-hit wonder is by the four-man, 80s Dance/Rock band based out of Miami by way of Los Angeles, OXO. The band was formed in 1983 by Ish “Angel” Ledesma. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe the 70s Dance/Disco band Foxy will. Ish was the lead singer / guitarist for Foxy, who had a couple of BILLBOARD Hot 100 hits in the late 70s – “Get Off” (No. 9, 1978), and “Hot Number” (No. 21, 1979).
The discography of OXO is pretty simple – one self-titled album, one single. That single, “Whirly Girl,” debuted on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 the week after my birthday in February 1983, and reached the Top 40 on this date (April 2) in 1983.
The subject of “Whirly Girl” was Ish Ledesma’s wife, Lori, and for 6 weeks in the Spring of 1983, it was one of the biggest 40 songs in the country, spending a week at No. 28 in late April 1983, and 14 total weeks on the Hot 100. It fared a little better in the Great White North, reaching No. 15 in Canada.
After OXO broke up a few years later, Ish formed another Dance band – Company B, featuring his wife (and “Whirly Girl”), Lori. Company B was another of the (real) one-hit wonders of the 80s here in the U.S., reaching No. 21 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in 1987 with the song “Fascinated,” and it became one of the first Freestyle music songs to reach the Top 40. It also spent 4 weeks at No. 1 on BILLBOARD’s Dance chart, the longest stay at No. 1 on that chart in 1987.
I always loved “Whirly Girl.” Still do. It clocks in at just under three minutes, and you can’t help but move to it the whole time. Sure, I wish it had whirled around the Hot 100 a bit longer and a bit higher than it did, but I’m glad it found its way to me, and found its way whirling around on my turntable for many years…