One of the finest examples of one-hit wonders is a musical duo called the Alessi Brothers. Twins Bobby and Billy Alessi (born in Long Island in 1954) earned European fame in 1975 with a jazzy song called Oh Lori. It hit number 7 in the United Kingdom charts and became a Top Ten success in 17 more countries. Oh Lori is a catchy song about Bobby’s wife (or was it Billy’s?).

With their typical seventieshairstyles, the Alessi Brothers became young girls’ idols. They ditched their relatively unknown producer after Oh Lori because Billy and Bobby wanted to become as famous as The Beach Boys and thought they needed a big name to achieve that. According to Billy, they could get every producer they wanted after Oh Lori, “even the producer of Queen”. But none of their next attempts made it to the charts, except for Put Away Your Love, which earned an impressive 71st place in the American listings of 1982.

Distressed by the continuing lack of success, the Alessi Brothers kept on changing producers. After their ‘82 album Long Time Friends they gave up and started to produce radio and television jingles, working together with Sir Reginald Kenneth Dwight among others. Now the brothers admit they were too impatient and it was wrong to break with their initial producer in the first place.

The Alessi Brothers made five albums in their career that lasted from 1975 to 1982: Alessi (A&M, 1977), All for a Reason (A&M, 1978), Driftin' (A&M, 1978), Words & Music (A&M, 1979) and Long Time Friends (Qwest, 1982). Billy and Bobby co-operated with Art Garfunkel on his 1979 Fate for Breakfast, mainly providing the background vocals. As vocal arrangers the twins helped Deborah Gibson on her 2001 album M.Y.O.B. (which stands for Mind Your Own Business). They also wrote the title track. The Alessi Brothers have their own web site where you can buy their music at

Sources: the NPS documentary Single Luck on one-hit wonders,

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