I’ve always resisted describing a musical act as a ‘one-hit wonder’. After all, if someone has the talent and good fortune to have a hit record, it should be applauded, not dismissed because it’s a one time deal. And besides that, the label is often mis-applied to artists whose one big song just nudged into the Top Ten — it’s actually pretty rare for someone to have a true number-one hit and then never again make the upper charts. But a duo named Zager & Evans did just that in 1969, blasting to the top with their strange, post-apocalyptic song, “In the Year 2525,” only to later fade from view.
Denny Zager and Rick Evans were a couple of Nebraska guys who’d teamed up during the folk-rock era of the mid 1960s, performing with various backup musicians. At the time they recorded their big hit, they were backed by drummer Dave Trupp and bassist Mark Dalton, and it’s a good bet that there were a few heads being scratched in the studio that day.
In any case, the song caught the attention of the record-buying public and it soon rocketed to the top of the charts. Many saw its futuristic theme as appropriate to the biggest news of the day — Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. And it was still topping the charts during the Woodstock festival, a time when a lot of attention was being paid to music.
As for Zager & Evans, the duo would soon issue a second album but none of the other songs on either album created much of a splash. Some of them — for example, “Taxi Man” — had real possibilities, but just never caught on, and both members of the team would eventually go their separate ways. Zager is now a successful custom guitar designer and Evans has stayed active in other music industry related activities.
(Later – video was removed at source.)