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One-Hit Wonders: ‘Sailor,’ A Song By A Nurse Named Lolita Sung Entirely In German

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Lolita

Lolita - "Sailor" (Kapp Records, 1960)

An improbable hit-maker, Lolita Ditta scored a Number 5 hit in the US in 1960, with a song performed entirely in German.

Performing under just her first name, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Lolita[/lastfm] was an Austrian-born children’s nurse who singing career never went further than the local church choir. In a sort of Sound of Music storyline, Ditta’s chance performance on local radio won her offers to appear on TV and make records.

“Sailor,” which was picked up in the US by Kapp Records in 1960, was the result of her efforts and, despite being sung entirely in German, the melody shone through and won Lolita a spot in the Billboard Top 5.

However, like some others who scored hits in the US in foreign languages ([lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Kyu Sakamoto[/lastfm], for example), Lolita’s success was short-lived. “Sailor” was her lone Top 40 record.

Gone but not forgotten, hear more tales of one-hit wonders.

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