60 Of The Most Bizarre One Hit Wonders Of The 1960s and 1970s

By Sarah Norman | January 14, 2024

Norman Greenbaum, 'Spirit In The Sky'

Prepare to be transported back in time as we dive into the world of music to explore the quirkiest and most eccentric one-hit wonders that graced the airwaves during the colorful decades of the 1960s and 1970s. From psychedelic pop gems to offbeat disco delights, join us on a musical journey filled with delightful oddities, unexpected chart-toppers, and artists whose fleeting moments in the spotlight left a lasting imprint on music history. Get ready to groove, laugh, and reminisce about the most bizarre and unforgettable tunes that captured hearts for a moment, forever etching their place in the annals of musical curiosities. Let's turn up the volume and rediscover the delightful eccentricities of the bygone era's one-hit wonders!

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We wouldn't have "Spirit in the Sky" if it weren't for Norman Greenbaum's habit of channel surfing in the 1960s. One night saw Porter Wagoner on TV playing a gospel song and the rest was history. In 2006 he told the New York Times:

I thought, ‘Yeah, I could do that,’ knowing nothing about gospel music. So I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes.

Those 15 minutes yielded a massive hit song that's kept Greenbaum resting easy for more than four decades at this point. Greenbaum continues to perform to this day, but he's never had a hit as sky high as "Spirit in the Sky"

Carl Douglas, "Kung Fu Fighting"

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Was everyone Kung Fu fighting in the 1970s? According to Carl Douglas they were. This goof off novelty song was originally a B-side for the single "I Want to Give You My Everything," but that song didn't pop nearly as hard as Douglas' ode to getting windmill kicked in the face.

The single sold 11 million copies and became a staple of film and television but that was all she wrote for Douglas' career as a pop star.