One-Hit Wonder: Santo and Johnny
Two brothers from New York who became more popular overseas. They had one hit in the U.S.: Santo and Johnny, according to the website history-of-rock.com, under instrumentals and guitar.
Brothers Santo and Johnny Farina grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. According to santoandjohnny.com, while in the Army stationed in Oklahoma, their dad heard the steel guitar listening to the radio and wanted his sons to learn. They found someone who could teach the steel guitar. They practiced and formed a band that performed at local clubs, dances and weddings.
As The Farina Brothers became popular locally, Johnny went from label to label. They signed with Canadian-American Records and released nine albums with them until they folded in the mid-'60s. The brothers and their mom wrote their first hit, "Sleep Walk," and earned them a Gold Record. They then went on tour coast to coast, that also included some TV shows.
Santo and Johnny went on tour in Australia, Mexico and Europe, and their popularity waned in the U.S. by 1960. Santo and Johnny signed with two other labels plus one in Italy and continued to be popular overseas, releasing James Bond movie themes, Hawaiian songs, light classics and rock and roll hits.The duo released more than 40 albums overseas.
In Mexico, they earned the Golden Kangaroo Award for their No. 1 cover of The Beatles' "And I Love Her," which was on the charts for 20 weeks. In Italy, they recorded "The Godfather" theme in 1973. It broke Italian records as it was top of the charts for more than 25 weeks and earned them a Gold Record in Italy. Santo and Johnny were inducted into Italy's Hall of Fame.
They disbanded in the mid '70s. Internationally, Santo continued to record. Johnny plays all over the U.S. Santo and Johnny are in the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.