National One Hit Wonder Day

Lefty Graves

September 25th is National One Hit Wonder Day! A ‘One Hit Wonder,’ ‘according to Wikipedia, is any song that has achieved mainstream popularity, often for only one piece of work.’ Artists in this category have managed to have one famous hit top the charts, and then they are done. These are also referred to as ‘One and done.’

Many One Hit Wonder artists had several albums; however, the songs weren’t nearly as popular as their One Hit Wonder. As a result, many of these artists went on to do other things in life with limited success. Typically, a One Hit Wonder saw their popularity decrease after their One Hit.

The goal of National One Hit Wonder Day is to honor all of the musicians that had one famous hit that left an impact on the world. So many of these single hits have catchy lyrics or tunes that leave us being the one caught at the stop sign singing our hearts out when we’re alone in the car.

It’s not at all unusual for single hits like these to become very popular with specific age brackets, groups of friends, moviegoers, at weddings, funerals, dances, and more. Everyone knows at least one famous One Hit Wonder, even if they’re unaware that the song is a One Hit Wonder. It’s not at all unusual for people to only remember the song itself or parts of the song, and absolutely nothing at all about the group or singer behind the song itself.

What is the most famous One Hit Wonder Song?

The most famous of all One Hit Wonders is Iron Butterfly’s ‘In A Gadda Da Vida.’ With the pounding drums, the chanted primitive style lyrics, and the organ, artist Nicolas Krushenick is likely most famous for this song and nothing more.

The band Iron Butterfly simply never got off of the ground. Decades later, this song is still a favorite among fans, but few fans would be able to list any other songs the band played.

What Songs Are One Hit Wonders?

Here are a few One Hit Wonders to get you started on your list of famous single hits that topped the charts and left us all humming or singing along.

  • In 1955 The Penguins made their song ‘Will You Be Mine,’ also known as ‘Earth Angel’, famous.
  • An old trucker favorite in 1963 is ‘Six Days On The Road’ by Dave Dudley
  • We can’t forget Tiny Tim and his ‘Tip Toe Thru The Tulips’ with his ukulele.
  • Just about every artist has sung ‘House Of The Rising Sun’, but do you know who made it famous? (Frijid Pink).
  • More than one driver has been pulled over, blaring the famous ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’ by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.
  • Let’s not forget ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy' by Bobby McFerrin. Many a sad soul has relied on this song for a cheer-up song.
  • No one will ever forget Billy Ray Cyrus and his 'Achy Breaky Heart', but do you remember any of his other songs? It was first released by The Marcy Brothers, but few will recall that detail. It seems it took Billy Ray to make it famous and add it to this list.
  • In the video, Nancy Sinatra made ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’ with her famous white go-go boots.
  • Frank Fontaine sang ‘White Christmas,’ and it’s been playing seasonally ever since (from the Jackie Gleason show).

Do any of these songs bring back memories? Where were you when you first heard your favorite One Hit Wonder? How many One Hit Wonders are you able to name or list? Do you know the artist? Do you know all of the lyrics to the song? Be sure to share your favorite One Hit Wonder on social media with #OneHitWonderDay. What’s your favorite One Hit Wonder?


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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction recovery, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming, and an eclectic mix of other topics. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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