On this day in 1969, The Lincoln, Nebraska rock-pop duo and one hit wonders Zager and Evans started a three week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘In The Year 2525.’ The song that was written by Rick Evens in 1964, also spent six weeks at No.1 on the US chart. The song warned of the dangers of technology, portraying a future in which the human race would at length be destroyed by its own technological and medical innovations and Divine wrath. The last stanza of the song intimates a continuing cycle of birth, death and rebirth of mankind.
The song was originally written in 1964 and recorded and released in 1968 on the Truth Records label. After radio stations in Lincoln and Omaha turned the record into a regional “break-out” hit record, RCA Records signed the duo and rereleased the song nationwide.
RCA thought they were onto the “The Next Big Thing”, but follow-up singles, such as “Mr. Turnkey” (a song about a rapist who nails his own wrist to the jail wall as punishment for his crime) went largely unnoticed by the public. “In the Year 2525” was their only Hot 100 entry.
Zager and Evans no longer perform as a duo, but they both remain in the music industry and remain friends. Zager now builds custom guitars, and Evans has continued his career as a performer and songwriter.
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