#MusicMonday – March 16, 2020

Finally I figured out, but it took a long, long time.  I mean, two seconds to decide on what songs I wanted to feature this month may seem long to some.  I guess.

90s Music Month rolls on, despite everything, because you clearly need some happiness in your life.  And that happiness needs to come from good music.  Because in the world of the mid 1990s, a one-hit wonder always sounded just as good as the Top 40 hit by a tried-and-true hit-making artist/band on the radio.

Each week, I’ve been alternating hits and hits by one-hit wonders from the mid 1990s, and today, we’re focusing on a one-hit wonder that always sounded great on Top 40 radio in the mid-late 1990s.  Today’s song is by a group that doesn’t contain anyone named for an eye color, or is a female sibling.

Don’t you love when I keep you guessing?

“All For You” is a 1997 single by Sister Hazel, from their second album …Somewhere More Familiar.  It became their signature song, having the best chart performance of any releases by the group.

What’s in a name, you say?  Sister Hazel gets its name from Sister Hazel Williams, a local missionary who ran a homeless shelter.

The Gainsville, Florida-based group, established in 1993, had released an album prior to …Somewhere More Familiar, but it was this album (and “All For You”) that got the group noticed.  Based on the lyrics, the song is obviously about a guy who is trying to prove that the relationship in the song is solid, but that anything he does to prove it is just not enough.

Not since Peter Cetera trying to beg the chick to “stay the night” has a relationship been built on so much determination.

Don’t believe me?  How about a listen?

“All For You” charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #11, and subsequently topped the Billboard Adult Top 40. Like many songs in the 90s that are likely hiding some kind of depressing reality beneath upbeat tones and lyrics (as I’ve said, a song about drugs, OD’ing, and general misery can even sound upbeat in the mid 1990s), “All For You” just had the catchy nature that would make it a hit.

The song was released in June 1997, shortly after I finished eighth grade.  My then-best friend and I listened to Top 40 radio regularly, usually while we were playing video games, hanging out, or having a sleepover.  Music during that time was quite important in helping establish my musical tastes that I’ve continued to have as an adult, this being one of those songs that whenever I hear it, it truly takes me back.

“All for You” remains Sister Hazel’s biggest single. And hey, guess what, they’re still together!  Nothing they’ve released since has quite matched the hit-making ability of their first single, but they survived that brush with having a hit, and their lineup has never changed.  What popular group that sticks together over the years can say they’ve survived with their entire lineup intact?

These days, Sister Hazel are the founders of a non-profit, Lyrics for Life, that unites musicians and celebrities for concert events, auctions, and other fundraising efforts for the fight against pediatric cancer.  This effort was done in the memory of founding member Ken Block’s younger brother Jeffrey, who lost his four-year battle with pediatric cancer that began at the age of fourteen.  Money raised goes toward summer camps, research, support groups, and enriching the lives of patients and their families.

They still tour today, and have released albums as recently as late 2019.

One hit wonders?  Possibly.  But musicians banded together for important causes?  Definitely!

90s Month continues next week on Allison’s Written Words, alternating the one-hit wonders with the hits that kept on going.  Next week, a group who had more than one hit.  We’re moving into 1995 for this one, the earlier end of the spectrum we’re covering this month.

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the 90s music!


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