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Top 10 Best One Hit Wonders of the 1950s and 1960s

The Most Memorable One Hit Wonders of the Doo-wop and Hippie Era!

[Credit: Stuart Hampton]

With enough hard work, talent and determination, any musician can create one great song. Sometimes one hit single is all you need to make an impression that will last a lifetime. That is what these one hit wonders of the 1950s and 1960s did. Here are ten of the best from those decades.

10. "Lollipop" – Ronald and Ruby

Ronald and Ruby were an interracial pop duo in 1958. Ronald Gumm was Black and Beverly "Ruby" Ross was White. Sadly, a bi-racial group was not widely accepted at the time. Because of that, Ronald and Ruby made no television appearances. That may also be the reason why "Lollipop" was made more popular by the all-White girl group The Chordettes.

9. "Book of Love" – The Monotones

The Monotones was a R&B group who debuted their chart-topping song "The Book Of Love" in 1958. They recorded other singles, but unfortunately, the songs failed to be successful. What's strange is that the inspiration of "The Book Of Love" supposedly came from a Pepsodent toothpaste radio ad that sang, "You'll wonder where the yellow went."

8. "Hey There Lonely Girl" – Eddie Holman

Originally, the song was recorded by Ruby and the Romantics as "Hey There Lonely Boy." However, it was Eddie Holman's rendition as "Lonely Girl" that became a classic and ranked as number two on the pop charts in 1969. Eddie is now a reverend for a Baptist church, but he still finds time to record both gospel and secular music today.

7. "Hey Baby" – Bruce Channel

This rock song from 1962 made Bruce Channel a hit maker. Unfortunately, lightning only struck once for the Texas native. Bruce had other songs, but he couldn't match the popularity of "Hey Baby." On the up side, Bruce's harmonica player, Delbert McClinton, got noticed by then unknown band The Beatles while touring in Britain. The harmonica riff from "Hey Baby" inspires some future Beatles songs. That's quite a contribution to rock history.

6. "Rockin Robin" – Bobby Day

"Rockin Robin" was made widely popular by The Jackson 5, but it was Bobby Day who originated the hit. In 1958, "Rockin Robin" was a chart topper for Bobby Day. He also recorded his other single "Over and Over", but once again he got eclipsed by the more remembered cover by The Dave Clark Five in 1965. Poor Bobby.

5. "Do You Love Me" – The Contours

The 1962 smash was credited for helping put Motown on the map. The Contours, however, did not stay in Motown for long due to their wild energy and rough R&B sound. The label started by the legendary Berry Gordy preferred smoother music and stage presence. Perhaps, The Contours were meant for rock and roll instead, but at least "Do You Love Me" made a lasting impression. So much so, that it was covered by The Dave Clark Five and got revived in the iconic 1988 film Dirty Dancing. Fun Fact: "Do You Love Me" was originally meant for The Temptations, the typical smooth and sophisticated Motown group. Is that ironic?

4. "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" – Steam

When most people think of this song, they probably think of the classic football film, Remember The Titans. The hit from 1969 was produced and recorded by a group called Steam, but there was barely a group at the time. When the song was recorded there wasn't an actual artist to credit. With a high demand for TV appearances, producers scrambled to get a band formed. Steam never had any other hits, but their song "Kiss Him Goodbye" lives on through a cover by British girl group Bananarama and as an anthem for the Chicago White Sox. 

3. "Dirty Water" – The Standells

"Dirty Water" by The Standells made it to number eleven on the charts in 1966. They also had other singles like "Try It," which was banned in most places for suggestive delivery. An inconsistent identity in their albums and in band members (one of which included Larry Tamblyn, brother to actor Russ Tamblyn) didn't help with their success either. The band often gets compared to more iconic bands like Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones, both of whom over shadow The Standells. At least their punk filled hit became an anthem for the city of Boston.

2. "More Today Than Yesterday" – Spiral Starecase

Now am I the only one who genuinely thought this song was sung by Stevie Wonder? It certainly sounds like him. Well, in 1969, Spiral Starecase had the talented quality to have a lasting career. However, thanks to bad management and fights over money, the band eventually disbanded. Their sole album includes a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" and "For Once In My Life" (which coincidentally became famous by Stevie Wonder).

1. "Nobody But Me" – Human Beinz

If you remember the cold open from season seven of The Office, then you definitely remember this song. The Human Beinz seem to be most comfortable with making covers, including "Nobody But Me" originally by the Isley Brothers. That hit made it on the top ten charts in 1967. They also done covers of songs by Bob Dylan, The Who, and Yardbirds. The band put out a second album, but it was not nearly as well received as the first, and eventually the group broke up.

Do you agree with my list? What one hit wonder songs do you love?

Source: AllMusic

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