Of all tracks to have hit the Billboard Rhythm and Blues charts from 1942-1999 (see source at page bottom), there are only 24 artists whose sole chart hit reached the #1 position. The tracks that fit the criterion for a "one hit wonder" lie in the date range 1953-1964. The following is a list of those hits:

The information is structured as followed:
Artist - Song Title (Year Released, Number of weeks at #1)
Additional Track Notes

Note to readers: This list has been compiled from statistics in a vast database. Each entry has been supplemented with verified biographical and instrumentation data. This is not a cut-and-paste.

  1. Guitar Slim - The Things That I Used To Do (1954, #1 for 14 weeks)
    Specialty Records 482
    Ray Charles plays piano on this track.

  2. Willie Mae Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog (1953, 7)
    Peacock Records 5-1612
    Performed with "Kansas City Bill" also known as Johnny Otis & Orchestra
    Covered by Elvis Presley in 1956 (#1 on R&B charts for 6 weeks; #1 on Pop charts for 11 weeks) b/w Don't Be Cruel.

  3. Wilbert Harrison - Kansas City (1959, 7)
    Fury Records 1023
    Composed (1952) by songwriters Leiber and Stoller as "K.C. Lovin" made popular in the African American market by Little Willie Littlefield though his version did not make the charts.
    Rufus Thomas scored his first R&B hit "Bear Cat" (1953, #3) for Sam Phillips (see drownzsurf's node) at Sun Records, an answer song.
    Crossover success: #1 for 2 weeks on the Hot 100.

  4. The Silhouettes - Get A Job (1958, 6)
    Ember 1029
    First released 1957 on Junior 361 at value of $500 for a mint condition 45 record.
    Silhouettes were based in Philadelphia.
    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles scored a regional hit for End Records with "Got A Job", an answer song.
    Crossover success: #1 for 4 weeks on the Hot 100.

  5. Bonnie Davis - Don't Stop Now (1943, 5)
    Savoy 102 on 78 rpm only.
    Born Melba Smith, Davis gave birth to R&B diva Melba Moore best known for her duet with Freddie Jackson "A Little Bit More" (1986, #1)

  6. Red Miller Trio - Bewildered (1948, 5)
    Bullet 295

  7. Jackie Brenston - Rocket 88 (1951, 5)
    Chess 1458
    "88" -- a song widely considered one of the first exemplars of rock n roll -- celebrates Oldsmobile's Rocket 88 which sported one of the largest V8 engines of the day.
    Produced in Memphis by Sam Phillips with the song's writer and rhythm section Ike Turner and His Kings Of Rhythm Band.

  8. Bea Booze - See See Rider Blues (1942, 4)
    Decca 8633 - part of Decca's Sepia series formerly known as Race Records.
    Ma Rainey, the songwriter and original performer, made this pop song famous as "C C Rider" (1925, #14)

  9. The Bobbettes - Mr. Lee (1957, 4)
    Atlantic 1144.
    Song inspired by the youngsters' fifth grade teacher.

  10. The Elegants - Little Star (1958, 4)
    Apt 25005
    Song adapted from Mozart's variation on "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".
    Crossover success: #1 on Hot 100 for 1 week.

  11. Barbara George - I Know (1961, 4)
    A.F.O. 302
    Produced by Allen Toussaint in New Orleans.
    Crossover success: #3 on the Hot 100.

  12. Frankie Smith - Double Dutch Bus (1981, 4)
    WMOT 5356
    Title refers to the jump rope game.

  13. Paul Whiteman - Trav'lin' Light (1942, 3)
    Capitol Records 116
    Billie Holiday, jazz vocalist, is listed on 78 only as "Lady Day".
    Skip Layton, trombone player.
    Whiteman, a bandleader, charted 217 pop tracks from 1920 - 1939.
  14. The Spacemen - The Clouds (1959, 3)
    Alton 254

  15. Perez Prado - Patricia (1958, 2)
    RCA Victor 7245
    An organist and bandleader, Prado was born in Mantanzas, Cuba, and was known as the King of Mambo.
    Crossover success: #1 for 1 week on the Hot 100.

  16. USA For Africa - We Are The World (1985, 2)
    Columbia 04839
    Gathering of musicians to raise money for the poverty-stricken of Africa and America.
    Crossover success: #1 for 4 weeks on the Hot 100.

  17. Earl Hines - Stormy Monday Blues (1942, 1)
    Bluebird 11567
    Billy Eckstine, vocalist

  18. Arbee Stidham - My Heart Belongs To You (1948, 1)
    RCA Victor 20-2572
    Stidham was a singer and played alto saxophone.

  19. Jimmie Nelson - T 99 Blues (1948, 1)
    RPM 325
    With the Peter Rabbit Trio, rhythm section
    Houston-area blues singer.

  20. Bill Justis - Raunchy (1957, 1)
    Phillips 3519
    Bill Justis, saxophone
    Sid Manker, guitar
    Crossover success: #2 for 1 week on pop charts.

  21. Kalin Twins - When (1958, 1)
    Decca 30642
    Jack Pleis, orchestra

  22. Phil Phillips - Sea Of Love (1959, 1)
    Mercury 71465
    Lake Charles, Louisiana-based singer and guitarist.
    Single originally released (1958) on Khoury's 711 at mint-condition value of $200.
    Crossover success: #2 for 2 weeks on pop charts.

  23. Jimmy Gilmer - Sugar Shack (1963, 1)
    Dot 16487
    Gilmer - a pianist - and the Fireballs were an early rock group from Raton, New Mexico.
    Crossover success: #1 for 5 weeks on pop charts.

  24. Peggy March - I Will Follow Him (1963, 1)
    RCA Victor 8139
    Song adapted from the French tune "Chariot".

Source: Whitburn, Joel. Top R&B Singles 1942-1999. Menomonee Falls: Record Research, 2000. ISBN: 07899935691

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