Werewolves of London was almost a one-tour wonder in 1978, but the boys decided to break it out a few more times in the 1980s and 1990s. My latest blog post about Dartmouth made me think of such animals here and thus I present the Grateful Dead's One-Tour Wonders, the songs that were only performed five or more times in one calendar year with the band. Obviously, the earlier the year, the more fuzzy the answer.
The real five (edit: me bad, oops it's six) true-to-life one-tour wonders that occured during one actual tour that meet this test are:
I Second That Emotion, April, 1971
Run Rudolph Run, December, 1971
Two Souls in Communion (The Stranger), Academy of Music NYC and Europe 1972
Let Me Sing Your Blues Away, September 1973. The Preovidence one with horns is playing now
Mission in the Rain, June 1976
Heaven Help the Fool, September/October 1980, acoustic instrumental
Here's the expanded list of 21 songs that were played 5+ times during one calendar year and never again:
1966: You Don't Have To Ask 1966, about 5 versions, cool little original ditty.
1968: Born Cross-Eyed, believe it or not only performed about 13 times between January 17 and April 3, 1968 (and then one million times by The Dead, Furthur, even Fare Thee Well. My virgin ears have yet to hear this played, even in the later-day post-Jerry bands
1970: You know Katie Mae is a good girl, Pigpen, 11 times
1970: You know It's A Man's World, Pigpen, 11 times
1970: Wake Up, Little Susie, 14 acoustic versions
1970: Til The Morning Comes, 5 times
1971: I Second That Emotion 6 times in April only. true one-tour wonder (as above)
1971: Run Rudolph Run , 6 times in December only, another true one-tour wonder (as above)
1972: Rockin Pheumenia, Boogie Woogie Flu, 5 times
1973: Wave That Flag, 15 times
1973: You Ain't Woman Enough, 15 times
1973: Let Me Sing Your Blues Away, 6 times, in September, all with horns!, true one-tour wonder
1974: Phil & Ned (Seastones), 23 times
1976: Mission In The Rain, 5 times, June, true one-tour wonder
1980:Heaven Help The Fool (instrumental) played 17 times in September/October 1980 in acoustic sets. I only saw it played and song with the Bob Weir Band in Providence on March 10, 1978 since it was not played on December 31, 1980, my only acoustic set. I am partial to the 10-31-80 Radio City version here with the equipment failure temporarily sidelining Phil from playing.
1990: Valley Road, 6 times, between October and December
1995: Unbroken Chain, 10 times
1995:It's All Too Much, 6 times in 1995, George Harrison-authored Beatles cover from Yellow Submarine
There are a number of four-timer including Stealin (probably incorrect), I Hear A Voice Calling, Reuben & Cherise, Devil with the Blue Dress and La Bamba.