Short And Sweet — Just Like The Song

I’m a little under the weather today, so this will be a short one.

I recently caught a rerun on TV of the Tom Hanks movie, That Thing You Do, and if you’ve ever seen it you know that it features a typical one-hit wonder pop group in the 1960’s. One of the clever gimmicks in the movie is that the group is called the Wonders, but they spell it ‘Oneders’ and then are annoyed to find that they’re announced by the MC as the ‘O-needers’. (Of course, the secondary joke here is that their very name indicates their eventual one-hit wonder fate.)

okAnyhow, I got to thinking about it and just ‘wondered’ something myself. Although I realize that Hanks was probably inspired by lots of different pop groups from those days, I can’t help but think that one of those he considered went by a similar name — the O’Kaysions, who had a big hit forty years ago with “(I’m a) Girl Watcher.”

Donny Weaver led a sextet that included Jim Spidel, Ron Turner, Jimmy Hennant, Wayne Pittman, and Bruce Joyner. They began as the Kays but changed their name to the O’Kaysions before hitting it big with their top-ten tune. (Just like the Oneders.)  Although they didn’t reach those heights on the charts again, various versions of the group have continued performing to this day, and the song itself has continued to be a popular choice for many listeners.


4 thoughts on “Short And Sweet — Just Like The Song

  1. There actually was a west coast band that has been cited as the direct inspiration for the Wonders and the movie…I saw a posting not too long ago about it…it COULD be Orange Colored Sky on UNI records…check at the REDTELEPHONE66 site…I’ll come back if i FIND IT IN MY BACK SUBSCRIPTION FEEDS


  2. Yep…I was right…this is the text from the posting at redtelephone66 ‘s music blog…
    Orange Colored Sky was originally formed in Erie P.A. as the Fabulous Epics in 1962, after toiling in P.A. for a while, they became the house band at the Peppermint Lounge in New York. In the late 60s , the band moved to Los Angeles and became Orange Colored Sky, they were in L.A. a short time when success came in the form of a signing with Universal and a contract with UNI records. The band quickly cashed-in on their opportunity, landing a spot in the Don Knott’s movie “The Love God”, and appearing in several T.V. commercials and guest appearances. A great club attraction, the band secured steady gigs at many of Las Vegas’ best venues, including Harrahs and the Flamingo. Years later, Tom Hanks would call them the Wonders, and tell their story in his film “The Thing You Do”. A very good example of late sixties West Coast Pop deserving of a re-issue release.


  3. Sounds like you nailed it, Duncan. I suppose it’s always possible that when Hanks named his fictional group he was inspired by the O’Kaysions, though. I’ll ask him the next time I’m over at his house for dinner. 🙂


  4. I’ve always held the impression that the O’Kaysions had a little more going for them as a SOUL outfit as they are on a set of Beach Music “Best Of” double LPs I still have…they actually do reasonable covers of some contemporary soul hits that charted higher for others (Like Bill Deal & The Rondells’ I’ve Been Hurt)…in fact, this picture you posted is the first I think I’ve ever seen of them. I would have thought them to be black as I recall their sound. At least they have a higher profile than Orange Colored Sky due to their connection with Carolina/Virginia Beach Music.


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