Rock Songs List of One Hit Wonders
The Trashmen - "Surfin' Bird"
The Rock Songs List of one hit wonder music through the decades of the sixties and the seventies was probably the best collection of unique sounds that were ever put together representing this niche. Many of these hits bring back early grade school memories as well as memories of beach parties at Tobay beach on Long Island, NY. As a matter of fact there were so many one hit wonder hits in these two decades that I've limited my list to the most memorable.
During my grade school days I became known as a class clown, which frequently included playing the drums on my desk as part of my routine. Most of the time I played "Wipe Out", which was a sensational 1963 tune by the Safaris. "Mule Skinner Blues" by the Fenderman (1960) was another favorite of mine to perform during class because of it's yipping and yodelling.
In the early sixties there was a kid's program called the Sandy Becker show that was a favorite. Sandy Becker was an eccentric comedian and puppet master who dressed in weird outfits and had several alter egos, two of which were Norton Nork and Hambone. Norton Nork was a good-natured simpleton who was guided through his day by a voice-over (also played by Becker). Hambone was a loony disc jockey -- sort of based on Wolfman Jack and Cousin Brucie. When these crazy characters appeared they were usually accompanied by music. Two such pieces I recall from 1963 were "Surfin Bird" by the Trashmen and "Mr. Bass Man" by Johnny Cymbal.
The EasyBeats - "Friday On My Mind"
Looking Glass - "Brandy You're A Fine Girl"
Soul Survivors - "Expressway to your Heart"
Richard Harris - "MacArthur Park"
Some other influential early 60's one hit wonders were:
Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto (1962) Sung partly in Japanese
Rhythm of the Rain - the Cascades (1963)
(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet (1964) - the Reflections
Rip Van Winkle - the Devotions(1964) Included the sound effects of chipmunks bowling
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away - the Silkie (1965) England's answer to Peter,Paul and Mary
Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey (1965) - the title song to the 1st James Bond movie
The Boy From New York City - the Ad Libs (1965)
Keep on Dancing - the Gentrys (1965)
Talk Talk - The Music Machine (1966)
Winchester Cathedral - the New Vaudeville Band (1966) A novelty song that had a megaphone/Rudy Valle (20's) quality to it.
They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Ha - Napoleon XIV (1966) This song, which was a bizarre depiction of mental illness, was banned from the New York airwaves.
Some late sixties one hit wonders were:
Come On Down to My Boat - Every Mother's Son
We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet - Blues Magoos
For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield An early folk-rock group that included Neil Young and Stephen Stills
Green Tambourine - Lemon Pipers
Expressway to Your Heart - the Soul Survivors
Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - John Fred & His Playboy band
Friday on My Mind - the Easybeats My favorite all-time one hit wonder
Journey to the Center of the Mind - Amboy Dukes An early band of Ted Nugent
Reach Out Of the Darkness - Friend and Lover
MacArthur Park - Richard Harris The first over 6 minute song played on top 10 radio in NY
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly An early psychedelic group with a 17 minute hit song
Pictures of Matchstick Men - Status Quo
You Keep Me Hangin' On - Vanilla Fudge
Angel of the Morning - Merrilee Rush Rush
My Pledge Of Love - Joe Jeffrey Group
Fire - the Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' - Crazy Elephant
Baby It's You - Smith
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam - chanted by home fans at sports stadiums when the visiting team is performing poorly
More Today Than Yesterday - Spiral Staircase Recently remade and sung by Diana Ross
Smile A Little Smile For Me - Flying Machine
Something in the Air - Thunderclap Newman
Things I'd Like to Say - New Colony Six
The seventies were my partying years. Our group of cronies had many beach parties (keg parties) at Tobay beach and Jones Beach, NY, in addition to house parties that included favorite drinks like Southern Comfort, Rum & Coke and seven & seven. Some of the tunes loved by our group included one hit wonders like: Tighter, Tighter - Alive and Kicking (1970), Ride Captain Ride - Blues Image (1970), Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) - Edison Lighthouse (1970), and Reflections of My Life - Marmalade (1970)
Other early 70's one hit wonders were:
Spirit in the Sky - Norman Green Baum
The Rapper - Jaggerz
In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
Venus - Shocking Blue
My Baby Loves Lovin' - White Plains
Sweet Mary - Wadsworth Mansion
All Right Now - Free
O-o-h Child - the Five Stairsteps
Indiana Wants Me - R. Dean Taylor
Vehicle - the Ides of March
Are You Ready? - Pacific Gas & Electric
Chick-A-Boom - Daddy Dewdrop
Put Your Hand in the Hand - Ocean
Hold Your Head Up - Argent
I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony) - Hillside Singers
Hot Rod Lincoln - Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen
Oh, Babe, What Would You Say? - Hurricane Smith Similar to "Winchester Cathedral" from 1966 with the megaphone sound
Beautiful Sunday - Daniel Boone
Bang A Gong (Get It On) - T. Rex
Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) - Looking Glass Became a #1 hit
My Maria - B.W. Stevenson
Dead Skunk - Loudon Wainwright III
Dueling Banjos - Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell Made famous in the Jon Voight/Burt Reynolds movie "Deliverance"
Brother Louie - Stories
Dancing in the Moonlight - King Harvest
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia - Vicki Lawrence The only hit by the sidekick to comedy legend Carol Burnett
Smokin' in the Boys Room - Brownsville Station
Rock On - David Essex
Beach Baby - First Class
Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
The Night Chicago Died - Paper Lace
Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield Made famous by the horror flick "The Exorcist"
The Entertainer - Marvin Hamlisch Made famous in the Newman/Redford movie "the Sting"
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
Some Late 70's one hit wonders were:
The Hustle - Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony A popular dance of the times
Fooled Around and Fell in Love - Elvin Bishop
Turn the Beat Around - Vicki Sue Robinson
The Boys are Back in Town - Thin Lizzie Made famous in the Eddie Murphy/Nick Nolte film "24 Hours"
Play that Funky Music - Wild Cherry
Happy Days - Pratt & McClain Made famous by the sitcom of the same name
Black Betty - Ram Jam
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
Love Is In the Air - John Paul Young
Because The Night - Patti Smith Group
King Tut - Steve Martin This novelty song by the famous comedian/actor became a popular dance
I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats
Born to be Alive - Patrick Hernandez This song was a legendary dance tune which became very popular during the disco era
Video Killed the Radio Star - the Buggles
Makin' It - David Naughton This was a popular tune sung towards the end of the disco era by the actor made famous in the movie "An American Werewolf in London"
The one hit wonder Rock Songs List during the sixties and seventies will be remembered as the most diverse and popular collection of music representing this niche forever.
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