Phil Harrell

This week, Morning Edition begins a series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs. Each segment focuses on a musician or band whose career in the United States is defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalog has much more to offer.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Super Bowl halftime show is arguably as big a spectacle as the actual game. And back in 2015, it launched an unwitting star.

Katy Perry was the halftime artist, but one of her dancers stole the spotlight. During her performance of the song "Teenage Dream," she was flanked onstage by two dancers dressed in enormous blue shark costumes. The one on the right seemed to dance in sync; the one on the other side flailed as if he'd been encased in that costume against his will.

"Left Shark" became an instant sensation.

In 1946, Nat King Cole became the first recording artist to wrap his lush vocals around what would become a standard of the holiday season, "The Christmas Song." But that song was written by a different crooner: Mel Tormé.

NPR's Noel King spoke with Mel Tormé's youngest son, James — an accomplished jazz singer himself — to get the story behind the creation of this Christmas classic.