Skip to main content

Rock Songs List of One Hit Wonders

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Collected over 300 LPs and over 100 45s of the 60s and 70s classic rock artists Was a very religious classic rock and pop fan

The Trashmen - "Surfin' Bird"

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the classic rock songs list of one-hit-wonder music was possibly the most popular collection ever, featuring musicians of this one-hit variety. 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 we've limited our list to the most memorable.

During grade school days, I became known as a class clown, which frequently included playing the drums on my desk as part of this routine. Most of the time I played "Wipe Out", which was an amazing 1963 tune by the Safaris. "Mule Skinner Blues" by The Fendermen (1960) was another favorite performance during class because of its yipping and yodeling.

In the early sixties, a kid's program called the Sandy Becker Show 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.


rock-songs-list-of-one-hit-wonders

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)

Scroll to Continue

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:

1967

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

1968

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

1969

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:

1970

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

1971

Chick-A-Boom - Daddy Dewdrop

Put Your Hand in the Hand - Ocean

1972

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

1973

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

1974

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:

1975

The Hustle - Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony A popular dance of the times

1976

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

1977

Black Betty - Ram Jam

1978

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

1979

I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats