31 Best One Hit Wonders Of The 60s

12. “The Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt Kickers

Song year: 1962

“The Monster Mash” quickly became one of those songs you only hear at a certain time of year, but you definitely hear it every single year.

Bobby Pickett was an actor moonlighting as a singer. One night, he jokingly sang a song as Boris Karloff, and the crowd loved it, which led to “The Monster Mash.”

It went to number one in 1962 and charted in three separate years after that, the latest in 2021.

13. “Land Of A Thousand Dances” by Cannibal & The Headhunters

Song year: 1965

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about “Land Of A Thousand Dances” wasn't its huge success but that the four kids who recorded it were teenagers at the time.

The song was a cover of the Chris Kenner original, but Cannibal & The Headhunters added the “na-na-na-na-na” phrase that served as such a powerful hook. Wilson Pickett covered this version and hit number one with it, but he owed that success to Cannibal & The Headhunters.

14. “Teen Angel” by Mark Dinning

Song year: 1960

Radio stations didn't want to play Mark Dinning's “Teen Angel” because it was too sad, but the public wanted to hear it. It tells the story of a girl dying when she gets hit by a train trying to retrieve her boyfriend's class ring.

The song featured in American Graffiti, and Sha Na Na sang it at Woodstock.

15. “Loop De Loop” by Johnny Thunder

Song year: 1963

Not to be confused with the DJ from WKRP in Cincinnati, Johnny Thunder got to number four many years before that show aired with “Loop De Loop.”

Thunder had some cred, recording in New York with names like Teddy Vann, Dionne Warwick, and Luther Vandross. But “Loop De Loop” was his only hit. He had a couple of minor follow-ups, but nothing rose higher than number 122 on the charts.

16. “Green Onions” by Booker T. & the MGs

Song year: 1962

“Green Onions” is one of the most popular instrumental songs in all of pop music. Its slithering organ riff, played by Booker T. Jones, is instantly recognizable, and it's so iconic that it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame despite not winning an award.

It appears in tons of movies, and lots of names— big and small—have covered it:

  • The Blues Brothers
  • Deep Purple
  • The Surfaris
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

17. “Oh Happy Day” by Edwin Hawkins Singers

"Oh Happy Day" by Edwin Hawkins Singers

Song year: 1968

Another entry in the annals of songs you couldn't have guessed would have hit, “Oh Happy Day,” originated as a hymn written in 1755. Gospel music pioneer Edwin Hawkins put his touch on it and gave it to his choir.

They recorded it at Hawkins' Berkeley, Cali, church, the Ephesian Church of God in Christ. It inspired George Harrison's “My Sweet Lord” and was a chart-topper across the globe, though it only made it to number two in the US.

18. “Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me” by Tiny Tim

Song year: 1968

So Tiny Tim was a weird guy. Tall, odd-looking, childlike, playing the ukulele left-handed. And that falsetto singing voice of his.

Somehow, “Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me,” written in 1922, became a hit for him, and he spent the rest of his life trying to duplicate it. Though he never did, he still made appearances and even acted in a 1987 horror film.

19. “Who Put the Bomp (In The Bomp-A-Bomp-A-Bomp)” by Barry Mann

Song year: 1961

Outside of Ray Stevens, having a novelty hit is a nearly surefire way to ensure you have one hit and only one hit. Such was the case for Barry Mann.

But “Who Put the Bomp (In The Bomp-A-Bomp-A-Bomp)” was meta before that was a thing people knew about, as it gently poked fun at all the nonsense syllables in pop music while using them in the effort.

20. “You Talk Too Much” by Joe Jones

Song year: 1960

Fats Domino didn't write “You Talk Too Much,” but his brother-in-law, Reginald Hall, did. Fats either didn't want to do it or wanted to help out Joe Jones. Either way, Jones got the song and recorded it in the summer of 1960.

Maybe he would have done something differently if he'd known it would end up on three different Billboard charts that year, topping out at number three.

21. “Polk Salad Annie” by Tony Joe White

Song year: 1969

You'd think that Tony Joe White would have gotten the message. He recorded “Polk Salad Annie,” but after nine months, the record label felt it wasn't selling and quit promoting it.

When record stores would ask for more copies, White and friends would have to take the “Do Not Sell” copies from the record label, cross out the offending words, and send them to the record stores.

White should have had more hits, what with Americans clamoring for this one.

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One Comment

  1. What about the Danleers, One Summer Night, Tommy Roe, Sheila, Bobby Vinton, Roses are Red Leslie Gore AKA LEslie Sue Goldstein, It’sy Party, The Shirelles, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Lol Christy The Gypsy Cried!, Little Peggy March, I Will Follow Him! ETC, ETC, ETC.

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