Singer Clint Holmes only managed to notch one entry into the record charts, but his 1973 hit "Playground in My Mind" was one of the more memorable songs by a one-hit wonder. Born on May 9, 1946, in Bournemouth, Dorset, England, to an opera-singing mother and a jazz-musician father, Holmes grew up in Farnham, NY. Singing and acting since childhood, Holmes was playing in rock bands by high school and went on to study music in college. A stint in the Army found him singing in a military chorus and, when he was relocated to Washington, D.C., Holmes continued to sing in clubs after his discharge, gaining a regional following. While performing at a club in the Bahamas, he was spotted by Johnny Mathis' producer, who was interested in having Holmes cut a couple songs, including "Playground in My Mind." Recorded in May of 1972, the song was an unmitigated flop upon its release the next month.
However, in November of that year, a radio station in Wichita, KS, began playing the song in conjunction with the holidays (apparently feeling that the sing-song nature of the track gave it a seasonal feel) and it drew a massive response, leading to more stations picking up on it. Before the year was out, Epic Records, which has originally released the single, had Holmes in the studio to record a full-length album in hopes of capitalizing on the song's increasing momentum. In June 1973, "Playground in My Mind" had climbed to number two, lodged behind Paul McCartney's "My Love" and sold over a million copies. Pegged as a novelty act, Holmes was unable to come close to matching the song's success with subsequent releases. Although he continued to sing and perform, he also branched out, acting as Joan Rivers' sidekick on her short-lived television program, The Late Show. More successful was a two-year stint on the popular Entertainment Tonight, where he served as a music and events correspondent. By the end of the '90s, Holmes was performing clubs again, appearing in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. ~ Tom Demalon