Sunday, May 11, 2014

Blast from the Past, Novelty Songs that were Hits (Part II)

Thanks to my brother Jason, and husband Andy, I have a list that rivals last week's installment, so let's just get started, shall we?

1. Junk Food Junkie by Larry Groce (1976) - Reached #9 on the hot 100, inspired by the 70s health food craze.

2. Tie Me Kangaroo Down by Rolf Harris (1963) - Went all the way to #3! And that woop-woop sound in the background is one of my earliest childhood memories.

3. King Tut by Steve Martin (1978) - First sung on Saturday Night Live in its glory days, Martin's song made it all the way to #17.

4. Short People by Randy Newman (1978) - Misunderstood by some as an actual put don of short people, this clever little track put Newman in the public consciousness, and went up to #2.

5. Spiders and Snakes by Jim Stafford (1974) - A surprise #3 hit from a man with more than one novelty hit to his name (with Wildwood Weed making an appearance in our next edition).

6. Earache My Eye by Cheech & Chong - (1974) - In '74, I was too young to understand much of what Cheech & Chong were talking about. But I thought it was funny anyway. This one managed to hit #9 on the pop chart, and allegedly featured "Alice Bowie."

7. Convoy by C.W. McCall (1975) - There was a CB radio/trucker craze in the mid-70s, and Convoy was right at the center of it.  It was enough to take it to number 1.

8. Telephone Man by Meri Wilson (1977) - Very, very dirty by the radio airplay standards of the day, this one squeaks by on its seeming innocence. And it worked its way up to #18 on the pop chart.

9. Brand New Key by Melanie (1971) - A real piece of the early 70s, this one might be that decade's equivalent of The Macarena. Speaking of which. . .

10. The Macarena by Los Del Rio (1996) - Probably still a wedding reception staple, this song was huge, worldwide, and then became an international embarrassment that almost no one will acknowledge, even as a guilty pleasure. But it was number one for fourteen weeks.

And though there have now been two editions of novelty hits, I can probably scare up eight or ten more for a part three. But we may hold off and do another topic next week. Until then, have a great week, everybody. Happy Monday!

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