The stories of goldmine

It took a lot of ill-fated singles before some ’50s pop stars got hits

Tony Bennett photo courtesy Sony Music Archives/Don Hunstein

While some lucky pop artists scored hits with their very first singles, others — including some outright legends — needed to try and try again before they finally broke through on Billboard Pop Charts. (Connie Francis famously put out 10 singles on MGM before she found success with 1958’s “Who’s Sorry Now?”) Here’s a peek at some other now-famous artists who needed at least two attempts to score chart hits back in the ’50s.

Sixty-plus years on, bluesman John Mayall still has the Midas touch

John Mayall publicity photo

Back in the 1960s, the backing band for British blues musician John Mayall was a high-volume finishing school for musicians. Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce were working with Mayall when they decided to form Cream. Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood all did tours of duty with Mayall. Future Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor was a Bluesbreaker, too, as was Free’s Andy Fraser. These days, the band’s membership is rock steady — just like Mayall’s career.

Music history comes full circle for Glen Phillips and Toad The Wet Sprocket


Glen Phillips isn’t the type of person to put all his eggs in the proverbial single basket. One of the mainstays of the ’90s chart champs Toad the Wet Sprocket, Phillips has diversified his efforts into a solo career, a successful stint with WPA, an Americana super group of sorts, and at least a trio of other affiliations on an occasional basis.