About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One-hit wonder Thurston Harris

Note: In this post and the more than 50 others about recorded music's "one-hit wonders," keep in mind that this designation should not be taken as an insult to a performer.

Many such people have had long, multi-faceted careers and rich accomplishments. Most were not merely a flash-in-the-pan. Even so, they did indeed have only one big hit recording and are one-hit wonders in that particular sense.

Pop music listerners of my own vintage might well remember Thurston Harris and his one really big hit song, Little Bitty Pretty One, which made it to No. 6 in 1957. The song, written by Bobby Day, had a doo-wop chorus that two college pals and I would often loudly "perform" as we returned to our dorm from our liquid adventures.

A year later, Harris had a second, but far more modestly successful rock recording, the suggestive, grammar-defying Do What You Did.

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