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30 Memorable One-Hit Wonders of the 1960s

"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" by Steam

No one sets out to be a one-hit wonder, but even if that's the highest level of fame you reach, you're still doing a lot better than most people! These musicians and groups from the 60s might not have a massively memorable discography, but that doesn't mean they weren't important to the decade. Let's check out the most memorable one-hit wonders of the 1960s!

"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" is one of the most endearing songs of the 1960s and a staple at sporting events, but the “band” Steam was just a collection of studio musicians with the help of a producer. They only ever made a handful of songs and weren't ever truly a real band.

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"Teen Angel" by Mark Dinning

Although somewhat morbid, “Teen Angel” reached #1 on the U.S. charts, but Mark Dinning couldn’t duplicate the same success again. His 3 sisters, however, had 4 Top 20 hits as the group The Dinning Sisters.

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"Mr. Custer" by Larry Verne

Larry Verne found a #1 hit with “Mr. Custer”, but his other “popular” 1960 song only reached a peak of 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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"Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs

“Stay” is the shortest song to ever reach #1 on the American music chart, clocking in at only 1 minute and 34 seconds. It found renewed popularity in the 1980s after being featured on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

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"Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K-Doe

Ernie K-Doe’s song hit #1 in 1961, but it almost didn’t happen. A background singer implored him to keep trying after he wanted to give up on the song following several failed takes.

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"Hey! Baby" by Bruce Channel

This Bruce Channel one-and-only topped the charts for three weeks in 1962. It was also featured on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack in 1987.

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"Stranger on the Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk

“Stranger on the Shore” was the first British song to top the American charts, but Mr. Acker Bilk couldn’t ever duplicate his success across the pond again.

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"Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto

Known as “Ue o Muite Aruko” in its native Japan, the song was retitled “Sukiyaki” for American audiences, even though the term has nothing to do with the song.

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"MacArthur Park" by Richard Harris

While he might have been a one-hit wonder in the world of music, Richard Harris also received 2 Oscar nominations for Best Actor and won a Golden Globe in 1968.

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"Ringo" by Lorne Greene

Perhaps more famous for his starring role on the original Battlestar Galactica, actor Lorne Greene also scored a #1 hit at the end of 1964.

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"Wipe Out" by The Surfaris

“Wipe Out” is recognized around the world for symbolizing surfer culture and conjuring up images of Hawaii, but the Surfaris couldn’t conjure up another hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

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"The Game of Love" by Wayne Fontana

Wayne Fontana was more popular in his native England than he was stateside. That being said, he did manage to reach #1 on the Billboard charts with “Game of Love.”

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"Eve of Destruction" by Barry McGuire

Barry McGuire reached #1 with this protest song in 1965. Two more of his songs charted in the top 100, but nothing ever reached this level of success.

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"Winchester Cathedral" by The New Vaudeville Band

Part of the reason the New Vaudeville Band were one-hit wonders was that they weren’t truly a real band. Geoff Stephens hired session musicians to record the original song.

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"Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)" by John Fred and His Playboy Band

The title is an obvious parody of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” When it did reach #1 on the charts, it knocked another Beatles song (“Hello, Goodbye”) out of the top spot.

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"Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers

Ohio-based band The Lemon Pipers had a couple other songs that rose to around #50 on the Billboard, but they remain most famous for this 1697 hit.

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"Love is Blue" by Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra

This instrumental piece by French composer Paul Mauriat spent 5 weeks at #1. The original Luxembourgish version actually has lyrics.

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"In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)" by Zager and Evans

This song topped that charts in both the U.S. and the U.K., but the pop-rock duo couldn’t ever replicate their success. The song did stay at #1 for six weeks in the U.S., however.

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"Apache" by Jørgen Ingmann and his Guitar

Ingmann’s version of “Apache” reached #2 in the U.S., and it was covered by multiple artists over the course of the years. It is sampled heavily on Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Jump On It.”

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"Daddy's Home" by Shep and the Limelites

Peaking at #2, “Daddy’s Home” remains James Sheppard’s most popular and was covered by Jermaine Jackson, Junior English, and Cliff Richardson.

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"I Like It Like That" by Chris Kenner

“I Like It Like That” was Chris Kenner’s biggest hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard charts. Other songs of his also became hits, but they were covers by different artists, not original works.

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"Midnight in Moscow" by Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen

Kenny Ball was a highly popular artist in the UK, but this rendition of “Midnight in Moscow” remains his only major hit in the United States.

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"Dominique" by The Singing Nun

Sung by Jeannine Deckers, a Dominican sister, the song became a worldwide hit in 11 countries and spawned a fictionalized semi-biographical film starring Debbie Reynolds.

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"Sally Go Round the Roses" by The Jaynetts

The Jaynetts were one of the first girl groups to find success at the top of the charts, but after this #2 hit, their successive releases never charted as highly. 

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"Washington Square" by The Village Stompers

The Village Stompers created a unique folk-dixie style with #2 hit “Washington Square.” Their follow up songs only ranked on the Billboard Bubbling Under charts, however.

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"Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers

None of the other songs by Wilson or the Cavaliers achieved the success of this #2 Billboard hit. Pearl Jam covered the song and also reached the same position with it.

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"Little Bit O' Soul" by The Music Explosion

None of the other singles by The Music Explosion charted inside the top 100, but “Little Bit O’ Soul” remains notable for its bass riff.

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"Love (Can Make You Happy)" by Mercy

Mercy only had 2 songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100. While this one was a #2 hit, the other peaked at #79, making them a qualified one-hit wonder.

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"Rhythm of the Rain" by The Cascades

“Rhythm of the Rain” became an international hit for the Cascades in 1962, but none of their subsequent songs charted around the world.

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"Alley Oop" by The Hollywood Argyles

While "Alley Oop" was the Hollywood Argyles only major hit as performers, member Gary S. Paxton went on to pen more notable songs, such as “Monster Mash.”

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