One-Hit Wonders In Memoriam – Benny Mardones

“Into the Night” is the only three time one-hit wonder song: 1980, 1989 and 2019
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Concert photo courtesy of Joel Diamond

Concert photo courtesy of Joel Diamond

Producer Joel Diamond said, “I am deeply saddened that my long time friend Benny Mardones has died. In his 2018 Goldmine interview Joel shared, “In 1969 I was new at Mercury. Benny got off of the bus, came to my office and said ‘I want to sing for you.’ I knew right away that he had potential. I have enjoyed working with him throughout his career. At the end of the 1980s, DJ Scott Shannon had a nightly Where Are They Now? radio show on KZZP. Even though ‘Into the Night’ reached No. 11 in 1980, a lot of people still hadn’t heard it, maybe these were younger listeners who missed it at the beginning of the decade. When ‘Into the Night’ was played on that radio show, the switchboard lit up with requests and it became a hit for a second time in 1989. Now there is the new recording with a great arrangement by Ted Perlman.” This resulted in “Into the Night 2019,” which charted in Billboard for a third time, as a dance record. Joel updated, “Benny is a three-in-one-hit wonder, now memorialized in pop music history for having the same song, different recordings, different labels, different decades and different centuries chart three different times.” Benny co-wrote “Into the Night” with another one-hit wonder Robert Tepper, who is best known for his 1986 song “No Easy Way Out” from the Rocky IV film and soundtrack.

Benny Mardones Into

Benny’s 1978 debut album, Thank God For Girls, had a lot of promise. The album’s opening number “All For a Reason,” written by the Alessi brothers, had a hit potential sound. The team at the Private Stock record label released it as a single and kept the entire five minute length, as it was featured on the album, supported by strong female background vocals. Unfortunately, this single did not chart in the Top 100. Things improved drastically with his second album in 1980, Never Run, Never Hide, on the Polydor label, containing the hit “Into the Night.” That hit was also rerecorded in 1989 on his self-titled album on the Curb label, produced by Joel. By the end of the decade “Into the Night” had spent 37 weeks in the Top 100, reaching No. 11 in 1980 and No. 20 in 1989.

Throughout his career, Benny was an exciting live performer including opening for Peter Frampton. His television appearances included American Bandstand, The Midnight Special, The Merv Griffin Show and The Toni Tennille Show. Benny, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, was born in Cleveland, Ohio and died in his home in Menifee, California on June 29 at the age of 73, with his wife Jane by his side.

Joel Diamond and Benny Mardones, photo courtesy of Joel Diamond

Joel Diamond and Benny Mardones, photo courtesy of Joel Diamond

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