Retro Rockin’ With The Georgia Satellites

I’ve never made much of a secret about my feelings concerning musicians who are sometimes called one-hit wonders. I think the very term is unfairly applied to many of them, and even when it’s used with some accuracy it still carries an unfortunate stigma that shouldn’t exist.

Having said that, I have to confess that there is a musical group with a single hit song that has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and although they’ve been called one-hit wonders it doesn’t lessen the impact of the song.

It was about twenty years ago and the rock and roll world was dominated by stars such as Bon Jovi and others, generating a type of music that didn’t really didn’t interest me much. But when I first heard the Georgia Satellites, who came out of nowhere with their hit “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” I was hooked on the song.

Dan Baird, the lead singer and guitarist, had kicked around the Atlanta area for a while in the early 1980’s, and had made some demos as part of an earlier incarnation of the group, but they didn’t click. A few years later he reunited with former band-mate Rick Richards, along with Mauro Magellon and Rick Price, and the newly-formed foursome hit the jackpot with their irresistible tune.

Whether you considered the song a throwback to the sound of the 1950’s, or a variation of Southern Rock, it was impossible for music lovers to ignore. Baird’s song became a huge hit, making it all the way to number two on the pop charts. (Ironically, Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” held number one.)

The group stayed together for a while after that and even put out a couple of more albums, then broke up and reunited in the 1990’s, but they never reached best-seller status again. One-hit wonders? Maybe — but it’s still a great song.

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