Wednesday, September 25, is One-Hit Wonder Day. Having spent the first half of my professional career as a disc jockey in various cities, I’m no stranger to “one-hit wonders.” During my DJ era, I would “spin discs” (as we said back in the day) by one-hit artists like Soft Cell (a former “Gongaware Pick-to-Click”), Norman Greenbaum, and ? and the Mysterians. (I always thought ? was singin’ “you’re gonna cry for 96 years.” Who could count exactly 96 “tears,” I reasoned.) Due to my inability to relate to “adults” throughout much of my radio career, I was spared having to play Debby Boone or C.W. McCall.
Of course, “one-hit wonders” exist in fields other than music. For example, there’s Jeremy Lin, the Hummer, Silly Bandz, and, of course, the Zestimate. The Zestimate is a cleverly named web application meant to provide an estimate of a home’s value. It was created by a media company called Zillow, a property listing “syndicator”…a word disturbingly close to “syndicate.” Their name came about by the company’s desire to meld “zillions” of raw data points (mostly from county tax records) with “pillow.” Really? (I think instead they should have combined “zillion” with “Toro,” the official mascot of the NFL’s Houston Texans. Then they could have called the company “Zorro”…which is much cooler, in my opinion.)