Today, we are going to look at 10 musical acts that I think should have moved up several more rungs on the ladder of success than they actually ended up doing. Let’s take a look and see how many you remember, starting with my favorite on the list Terry McBride and the Ride. This sharp trio was a cool act that exuded with talent as great songs like “Hurry Sundown,” “Sacred Ground” and “Felicia” indicated.
Next, how about Atlanta? If you think maybe I was thinking about Alabama, that’s a logical thought, but no, I’m referring to the city not the state, even though Atlanta was formed as another label’s plan to compete with Alabama.
Atlanta is best known for its two biggest hits, “Sweet Country Music” (No. 2 on the charts) and “Atlanta Burned Again Last Night.” Alabama, meanwhile, has more than 50 No. 1’s.
Now, let’s go to Highway 101, The Reboot. If you’re wondering about that name (that I’m sure you’ve never heard before), that’s on me because Highway 101 had lots of success in its initial run with Paulette Carlson singing lead. However as is often the case when success comes to a group, lead singers sometimes pack their bags and opt to test the water as a solo act. That’s what Carlson did, though sadly she never clicked by herself.
Her decision left Highway 101 needing a lead singer, and they got a very good one in the person of Nikki Nelson. The group’s first album produced a top 20 hit in “Bing Bang Boom” as well as my favorite country song of all time, “The Blame.” If you’re not familiar with this great song, do yourself a favor and search for it. I’m pretty sure you will like it. So that’s how I got the name “Reboot.” ... same group name, new look.
Next is Sweethearts of the Rodeo. A talented and beautiful sister duo whose too brief career produced a number of fun songs, including “Midnight Girl In A Sunset Town.”
Then there is the Amazing Rhythm Aces, a wonderful group (fronted by the great Russell Smith) that did have their share of hits like “Third Rate Romance” and “Lipstick Traces,” but for some inexplicable reason, big-time success never came knocking. Sad.
I put the Ozark Mountain Daredevils with the Amazing Rhythm Aces quite frankly because they remind me of each other. I wasn’t that familiar with the Daredevils until a few years ago when they entertained for some major celebratory event at Silver Dollar City and packed the park’s huge amphitheater in the process. It was a wild afternoon, including a heavy thunderstorm rapidly approaching the park. The Daredevils’ signature song is “If You Want To Go To Heaven (You Got To Raise A Little Hell).”
4-Runner entertained at the White County Fair in my hometown a few years ago, and they came at a great time just as “Cain’s Blood” was rolling up the charts before pausing at No. 26 (their highest-charting single). Their debut album yielded four hits, but none bigger than “Cain.” Two other albums failed to generate any interest.
Wild Rose was an all-girl band better known for their entertaining than chart success, but gosh, did they have talent. They got a great deal of publicity as Porter Wagoner’s road band for two years.
Tompall and the Glaser Brothers (Jim and Chuck) were known for their beautiful harmonies with “Loving Her Was Easier” the best known and most successful (No. 2) of their nine charted singles. “Put Another Log On The Fire” was another. The Nebraska trio was also associated with the Outlaw Movement in that period of country music. As a sidenote, brother Jim had success as a solo artist after leaving his brothers.
Yes, these groups certainly deserved better, but nonetheless they’ve given me and probably several of you many hours of listening pleasure over the years.
Tommy Jackson is a former daily newspaper editor who now writes a weekly entertainment column. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.