Tag Archives: Rock n’ Roll

Life Could Be a Dream – One-Hit Wonders

5 Mar

The Chords

“Hey Nonny Ding-Dong Alang Alang Alang, Oh, Wo-Wo Bip, a Doh, a Bip, a Bip”

– Genius Gibberish by The Chords

It doesn’t take much to make teenage girls swoon, but “Sh-Boom” (or “Life Could Be a Dream”) by The Chords made everyone swoon when it was released by a sextet of youngsters in 1954. The Chords, though, would only have one hit – “Sh-Boom.” This doo-wop masterpiece represents one of the first one-hit wonders in modern rock n’ roll history, and, despite all of the wonderful one-hit wonders released since it graced the charts, “Sh-Boom” is still one of the best.

The Chords formed in Bronx, NY, and were signed in 1954 after they were heard performing in the Subway. The band brought “Sh-Boom” with them to Atlantic Records’ Cat Records label. Jerry Wexler, who coined the phrase rhythm & blues and would later become a major record producer, was in his second year as a partner with Atlantic Records and proceeded over the recordings. While Wexler initially had the band perform a cover of a Patti Page song, the Chords’ original was too intriguing to pass up (it was put on the B-Side of the incipient record).

Now, if you are thinking that you have never ever heard of this song, just take a listen.

You recognize it now, right? That is how ubiquitous the song is. Even almost 60 years after its release, the song is still noticeable. Why? It is so damn catchy. It is still used in media today. The song’s light-hearted, bubbly harmonies match the jocular lyric. It is warm-hearted song. The gibberish, like I said above, is genius. The song reached #2 on the Billboard R&B charts and #9 on the Pop charts.

“Sh-Boom,” inevitably, was covered for Mercury Records by a doo-wop group named The Crew Cuts who put a more traditional/organized spin on the song. The song reached #1 on the Billboard charts in for nine weeks during August and September 1954.

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