leejohnson's current selection is:
Just When I Needed You Most
by Randy VanWarmer
#OneHitWonders - #OneHitWonder

From the blog "Reading Between The Grooves", Friday, July 12th 2013:


Autoharp: Just When I Needed You Most

Randy VanWarmer's "Just When I Needed You Most" was intended to be the B-side of "Gotta Get out of Here". Apparently, shortly after the single's release, a disc jockey flipped the single and played "Just When I Needed You Most". [This is totally incorrect - see my comments at the bottom.] With it rising on the charts, 'Bearsville Records' began promoting it as the A-side. The song was co-written by VanWarmer and Tony Wilson ('Hot Chocolate'). It peaked in 1979 at No. 4 [in the US].

The song may be the highest charting song to feature an "autoharp". John Sebastian, who also played autoharp on two 'Lovin' Spoonful' Top 10 hits, played on this single. VanWarmer credited Sebastian's autoharp melodic chord solo as the hook that helped propel the record to the Top Five. The single also was certified gold; however, it was VanWarmer's only hit.

At the beginning of the song, you can hear Sebastian playing "chromatic runs" on the autoharp. This is accomplished by not depressing any of the chord bars while strumming the instrument high to low.


The chord bars may not have been depressed, but I bet a lot of people were after hearing this for the first time. It is such a melancholy song that elliciting this reaction would not have been out of place. As a notorious ignorer of lyrics (I am very much tune-led when I first hear a song), I didn't notice this myself to start with.

[An axe to grind though with today's blogger, Jim Owston. "Discogs" evidence throws up the following scenario instead of that suggested by him: "Gotta Get out of Here" was released in 1979 with the mono version as the A-side and the stereo cut of the tune on the 'flipside'. I would surmise that "Just When I Needed You Most" was originally planned as the B-side to it, but *someone* decided it should instead be issued as a single A-side in its own right (which it was, months before "Gotta Get out of Here"). The B-side to today's selection is/was and always has been "Your Light".]

As well as its chart-busting performance on the Billboard Hot 100 Stateside, it also did admirably well in the UK, reaching No. 8 in August 1979 on a nine-week journey through the Top 40 there. Propagator of a true 'one-hit wonder' in 7" format, Randy VanWarmer (a sexed-up heater in a Volkswagen Combi? That's what I always thought of when I heard his name!) never troubled any singles charts again.
1979 - Bearsville Records - United States
Posted: About 14 hours ago
Rewind to the Seventies! Anything from 1969 to 1980 appears here.......
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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