December 5, 2012

More on Mononymous Persons.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 4:58 pm

In the previous post I stated, “I’m trying to think of a singer who uses only one name who either doesn’t stink or isn’t an asshole.” I cited Cher, Sting, Bono and Beyonoce as examples. A couple commenters asked, what about Dion? Elvis? Excellent observations, which serve to demonstrate that my theory is far from watertight, as neither Dion nor Elvis stink – far from it. I am a fan of both.

Having conceded that my theory may itself stink up the room a bit, it is interesting to note that “Dion” may well trace his mononym to originally having performed with the group, the Belmonts, collectively known as “Dion and the Belmonts.” I’m guessing that record producers didn’t think that “Dion DiMucci and the Belmonts” rolled off the tongue as easily as “Dion and the Belmonts.” Anyway, once the group split, it made sense for Dion to remain simply “Dion.”

As for Elvis, I am old enough to remember when Elvis Presley first appeared on TV on a program called “Stage Show,” hosted by big banders, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. (Yes, this was before he appeared on the Ed Sullivan show.) He wasn’t billed as “Elvis” back then, but rather as “Elvis Presley.” Only when the country went positively nuts over him, and some news types referred to him as “Elvis the Pelvis,” people began to drop the “Presley” part of his name. I suppose having a rather unusual first name helped that process along.

So, Elvis seems to fall into the category of persons originally using a first and last name, but becoming one-namers by the sheer force of fame. Frank Sinatra comes to mind. He is known simply as “Sinatra” (at least in New Jersey). Oprah (ugh) also falls into this category.

Am I over-thinking this? Why, yes; I believe I am.

Oh … one more thing, and then I’ll stop. I promise. In the category of one-named singers who stink or are an asshole, how could I have forgotten Madonna? Major stinkeroo and assholery right there.

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