It is sometime in the 1990s, and I am driving away from my medical school. It is a sunny day, I have just driven my car (it was probably still a car I was driving at the time) out of the student parking lot, and I am waiting at the intersection at the corner to turn onto one of the main roads away from the school. And I am singing along to the radio.
(I still sing along to the radio. A lot. And also dance if it’s a song that I like. Commuters entertained on I-495 during various morning drives: you’re welcome.)
I have no idea why I have such a clear memory of driving on a sunny day at that particular intersection and singing along to that particular song, but there you have it. My brain is weird.
The song is “I Know” by Dionne Farris. And I am singing along with elation, because that song rules.
Part of why I loved that song is how nicely it meshed with the circumstances of my life. Blah blah Russell’s twenties yadda yadda love life drama blah snore. Suffice it to say, an uptempo song about a woman seeing through the ersatz romantic gestures of a one-time paramour was something I was happy to sing along to at the time.
Plus, that woman can sing. Like, really sing. When she belts out the “Not gonna work this tiiiiiiime” part with the long “I” in “time” going all over the treble clef, it is a glory to hear. I turn it up every time it comes on the radio and try to keep up.
And then… nothing more on the airwaves from Ms. Farris. She sang for a time with Arrested Development, had her big hit, and nothing more as far as I heard. Her Wikipedia page lists a few later recordings, but as far as her time on the charts is concerned, she was a one-hit wonder.
I always thought that was a shame. Her voice is gorgeous, and I would have loved to have heard more from her. If I could rescue one recording artist from One Hit Wonder status, it would be Dionne Farris.
And that’s this week’s Question — you get one person or group to similarly rescue. What one song do you think merited a follow-up hit or two that never came? You only get one. Further, and with all due respect to classical music fans (among whom I would number myself), I’m looking for pop or rock or similar genres. As much as you might wish more people listened to the Academy of St Martin in the Fields (and who could blame you?), this Question isn’t about that.