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We loved them all. Several “One Hit Wonders” had very successful songs throughout the ’60s. Hey, how could you not shed a tear every time you hear, “Who Put the Bomp in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp, Bomp, Bomp?” Maybe even two or three tears, huh?
Well, as the Baby Boomer Music King, I have my own very valuable Top Ten list of One Hit Wonders. Remember these?
10. “In the Year 2525″ (1969) by Zager and Evans – These two University of Nebraska students hit #1 in the summer of 1969 and stayed there for six weeks. Over time this single has sold over 10 million copies. The two remain friends to this day. Denny Zager still lives in Lincoln where he builds custom guitars.
9. “Do You Love Me” (1962) by The Contours – Four young men from Detroit got their start in 1959 and did not chart with their first two releases. But they hit it big in 1962 when “Do You love Me” went all the way to #2. The group played for several more years but never hit star status as members came and went like a revolving door.
8. “Rhythm of the Rain” (1963) by the Cascades – All four band members served on the USS Ticonderoga while in the Navy. After leaving the Navy the four formed a group and began creating songs with an emphasis on voice harmony. Two releases did nothing, but then came “Rhythm of the Rain” which rose to #3 in early 1963. * (Make sure you watch the Cascades do an updated version of “Rhythm of the Rain” from a few years ago. It sounds better than the original.)
7. “Who Put the Bomp” (1961) by Barry Mann – Barry’s song peaked at #7 and stayed on the charts for twelve weeks.
6. “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon” (1965) by Jonathan King – He was a singer songwriter and a Cambridge University undergraduate in 1965 when he released his one hit wonder. It was a world wide hit that sold over 4 million copies. King is still in the music business after writing several songs for other entertainers for years.
There were many others that did well during the 60’s. One Hit Wonders carved out their share of music history and often climbed to #1 on the Billboard listings.
“Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey” by Steam went #1 as did “Telstar” by the Tornadoes. There are several great songs that I wanted to add to this Top Ten but that would have made the list a Top Twenty.
So, here are the Top Five One Hit Wonders from the 60’s.
5. “Liar Liar” (1965) by The Castaways – This rock group originated in the Minneapolis-St Paul area and released “Liar Liar” in 1965. The song hit #12 and was eventually featured in the movie “Good Morning Vietnam.” The group is still playing with one of the original members.
4. “In-a-Godda-Da-Vita” (1968) by Iron Butterfly – This song was actually recorded on the first take which is almost hard to believe. The original 17 minute version has a great extended drum solo. The song developed a cult following and sold several million copies.
3. “For What Its Worth” (1967) by Buffalo Springfield – Steven Stills and Neil Young became big stars with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY) but they were one hit wonders as part of Buffalo Springfield.
2. “Hey! Baby” (1962) by Bruce Channel – Although recorded in 1960, “Hey! Baby” didn’t become a hit until 1962 when it shot all the way to #1. Bruce Channel is still in the music business to this day even though he only hit it big time with one song. “Hey! Baby” has had a rebirth of sorts as a favorite among college students throughout the country.
1. I have a tie for the top spot… “Hippy Hippy Shakes” by the Swinging Blue Jeans (featured in the movie “Cocktail”), and “San Francisco” by Scott McKenzie. Listen to both songs and tell me which one should sit by itself at the top.
You can find music videos on all of the songs on this list by simply searching Google. I suggest you watch each one and let these videos take you back to our time… the 60’s.
write by Myrna