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Hit Novelty Records

Path: news2.delphi.com!news.delphi.com!uunet!ccrwest.org!not-for-mail 
From: ike@ccrwest.org (Greg Eichelberger) 
Newsgroups: rec.music.dementia
Subject: Hit Novelty Records
Date: 22 Feb 1995 06:03:34 -0800
Organization: IDA Center for Communications Research
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Dementia Fans,
With all of the recent talk about Johnny Standley and Jack Teagarden, I
thought some of you would be interested to know that at one time, the
novelty song was a staple on the American music scene.  unlike today. when
the industry takes itself way too seriously.

The novelty song has been around since the late 1800's when Edison first
invented his phonograph. These songs, such as "The Laughing Song", "Pat
Kelly As A Police Justice" and "Arkansas Traveler", recorded on wax or
paper cylinders or zinc discs, were snatched up as quickly as any operatic
or broadway tune.

There were also no politically correct standards back then, so recordings
like "The Whistling Coon" or titles that seem to poke fun at Germans,
Italians, Jews and Irishmen filled the charts from 1890-1910, when the era
of the barber- shop quartet took over.

Anyway, I'll begin in 1947 because few, if any, would have any idea if I
went back to far.  The following then is a list of all of the novelty songs
that have hit the top of the Billboard charts since 1947 and the amount of
weeks they remained in that position:

1947

6/28  "Temptation (Tim-Tayshun)"-Red Ingle with Jo Stafford-1 wk
8/09  "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)-Tex Williams & The Western
       Caravan-6 wks

1948

3/13  "Manana (Is Soon Enough For Me)-Peggy Lee-9 wks
7/03  "Woddy Woodpecker"-Kay Kyser & Orchestra-6 wks

1950

1/07  "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer"-Gene Autry-1 wk
2/11  "Rag Mop"-Ames Brothers-2 wks
12/2  "The Thing"-Phil Harris-5 wks

1952

12/27 "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"-Jimmy Boyd-2 wks

1953

3/21  "The Doggie In The Window"-Patti Page-8 wks
10/10 "St. George And The Dragonet"-Stan Freberg-4 wks

1958

4/28  "Witch Doctor"-David Seville-2 wks
6/9   "The Purple People Eater"-Sheb Wooley-6 wks
12/22 "The Chipmunk Song"-The Chipmunks with David Seville-4 wks

1959

9/1   "The Battle Of New Orleans"-Johnny Horton-6 wks

1960

1/18  "Running Bear"-Johnny Preston-3 wks
7/11  "Alley-Oop"-The Hollywood Argyles"-1 wk
8/8   "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"-Brian Hyland-1 wk
10/10 "Mr. Custer"-Larry Verne-1 wk

1961

5/22  "Mother-In-Law"-Ernie K. Doe-1 wk

1962

10/20 "Monster Mash"-Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers

1963

5/18  "If You Wanna Be Happy"-Jimmy Soul-2 wks

1965

9/7   "I'm Henry VIII, I Am"-Herman's Hermits-1 wk
9/25  "Eve Of Destruction"-Barry McGuire-1 wk-Hey, not all novelty songs
       have to be funny, do they?!

Case in point:

1966

3/5   "The Ballad Of The Green Berets"-Staff Seargent Barry Sadler-5 wks

7/30  "Wild Thing"-The Troggs-2 wks

12/3  "Winchester Cathedral"-The New Vaudeville Band-3 wks

1968

1/20  "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)-John Fred & His Playboy Band-2 wks
9/21  "Harper Valley P.T.A."-Jeannie C. Riley-1 wk-This single holds the
       record for biggest jump in chart history.  It debuted on the Hot 100
       at number 81 and by the next week, it was at number seven.  This 74-
       point leap has never been equalled and most likely never will be.

1969

7/12  "In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"-Zager & Evans-6 wks

1971

9/4   "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"-Paul & Linda McCartney-1 wk

1972

6/10  "The Candy Man"-Sammy Davis, Jr.-3 wks
10/21 "My Ding-A-Ling"-Chuck Berry-2 wks

1973

4/7   "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia"-Vicki Lawrence-2 wks

1974

5/18  "The Streak"-Ray Stevens-3 wks
6/15  "Billy, Don't Be A Hero"-Bo Donaldson & Heywoods-2 wks
8/17  "The Night Chicago Died"-Paper Lace-1 wk
12/7  "Kung Fu Fighting"-Carl Douglas-2 wks

1975

6/7   "Thank God I'm A Country Boy"-John Denver-1 wk

1976

1/10  "Covoy"-C.W. McCall-1 wk
10/16 "Disco Duck (Part 1)"-Rick Dees & His Cast Of Idiots-1 wk

1977

7/16  "Da Doo Ron Ron"-Shaun Cassidy-1 wk

1982

2/6   "Centerfold"-J. Geils Band-6 wks
12/11 "Mickey"-Toni Basil-1 wk

1984

8/11  "Ghostbusters"-Ray Parker, Jr.-3 wks

1985

4/13  "We Are The World"-USA For Africa-4 wks

1986

3/29  "Rock Me Amadeus"-Falco-3 wks
12/20 "Walk Like An Egyptian"-Bangles-4 wks

1987

8/29  "La Bamba"-Los Lobos-3 wks

1988

9/24  "Don't Worry, Be Happy"-Bobby McFerrin-2 wks

1989

8/5   "Batdance"-Prince-1 wk
12/9  "We Didn't Start The Fire"-Billy Joel-2 wks

1990

11/3  "Ice Ice Baby"-Vanilla Ice-1 wk

1992

2/8   "I'm Too Sexy"-Right Said Fred-3 wks

That's all that I have.  Today's music is pretty depressing and I haven't
paid too much attention to it. I also don't believe there are going to be
very many more true novelty songs in the near future, but we'll see.

Thank you for your indulgence.

Greg Eichelberger



From the Billboard Top 40 listings from 1955 to 1984: 
(Items marked in listings as Novelty or Comedy plus a few others that I
thought should be included) [Should this be in the FAQ?  Does anyone have any
charts for other years?]


record followed by top ranking and date it entered top 40:


Afternoon Delights -  General Hospi-Tale - 33 - 9/12/81
Jim Backus and Friend - Delicious - 40 - 7/21/58
Beach Boys - Surfing USA - 36 - 9/28/74
Benny Bell - Shaving Cream - 30 - 4/19/75 (originally issued in 1946)
Chuck Berry - my Ding-a-ling - 1 - 9/9/72
Big Bopper - Chantilly Lace - 6 - 8/4/58
Big Bopper - Big Bopper's Wedding - 38 12/22/58
Blues Brothers - Rubber Biscuit - 37 - 3/31/79
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan - Tennessee Birdwalk - 23 - 3/28/70
Johnny Bond - Hot Rod Lincoln - 26 - 8/22/60
Pat Boone - Speedy Gonzalez - 6 - 6/30/62
Buchanan & Goodman - The Flying Saucer (parts 1 & 2) - 3 - 8/11/56
Buchanan & Goodman - Flying Saucer The 2md - 18 - 7/29/57
Buchanan & Goodman - Santa & the Satellite (parts 1 & 2) - 32 - 12/30/57
Buckner & Garcia - Pac-man Fever - 9 - 1/30/82
Jimmy Buffett - Cheeseburger in Paradise - 32 - 5/27/78
Cadets - Stranded in the Jungle - 15 - 7/21/56
Carefrees - We Love You Beatles - 39 - 4/11/64
Johnny Cash - Boy Named Sue - 2 - 8/2/69
Johnny Cash - One Piece at a Time - 29 - 5/15/76
Jimmy Castor Bunch - Troglodyte (Cave Man) - 6 - 5/27/72
Jimmy Castor Bunch - Burtha Butt Boogie - 16 - 3/22/75
Chubby Checker - The Class - 38 - 6/15/59
Cheech and Chong - Basketball Jones Featuring Tyrone Shoelaces - 15 -
9/29/73
Cheech and Chong - Sister mary Elephant (Shudd-Up!) - 24 - 12/29/73
Cheech and Chong - Earache My Eye Featuring Alice Bowie - 9 - 8/31/74
Cheri - Murphy's Law - 39 - 6/5/82
Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Song - 1 - 12/8/58
Chipmunks - Alvin's Harmonica - 3 2/23/59
Chipmunks - Ragtime Cowboy Joe - 16 - 7/13/59
Chipmunks - Alvin's Orchestra - 33 - 3/7/60
Chipmunks - Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer - 21 - 12/26/60
Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Song - 39 - 1/6/62
Chipmunks - The Alvin Twist - 40 - 3/31/62
Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Song - 40 12/29/62 (reissue)
Buzz Clifford - Baby Sittin' Boogie - 6 - 1/30/61
Coasters - Charlie Brown - 2 - 2/9/59
Coasters - Along Came Jones - 9 - 6/1/59
Coasters - Little Egypt (Ying-Yang) - 23 - 5/29/61
Commander Cody & his lost planet airmen - Hot Rod Lincoln - 9 - 4/15/72
Bill Cosby - Little Ole man (Uptight-Everything's Alright) - 4 - 9/16/67
Cowboy Church Sunday School - Open Up Your Heart (and let the sunshine in)
     - 8 - 1/1/55
Johnny Cymbal - Mr. Bass Man - 16 - 3/16/63
Dancer, Prancer & Nervous - The happy Raindeer - 34 - 12/28/59
Charlie Daniels Band - Uneasy Rider - 9 - 7/21/73
Dante & the Evergreens - Alley-Oop - 15 - 6/13/60
Jimmy Dean - Little Sandy Sleighfoot - 32 - 1/6/58
Rick Dees & his cast of idiots - Disco Duck (part 1) - 1 - 9/4/76
Delegates - Convention '72 - 8 - 11/4/72
Detergents - Leader of the Laundromat - 19 - 12/19/64
Devotions - Rip Van Winkle - 36 - 4/4/64
"Little" Jimmy Dickens - may the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
       - 15 - 11/13/65
Bo Diddley - Say man - 20 - 10/5/59
Dr. Hook - The Cover of the "Rolling Stone" - 6 - 2/3/73
Lonnie Donegan & his skiffle group - Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its
         Flavor On the Bedpost Overnight - 5 - 8/14/61
Charlie Drake - My Boomerang Won't Come Back - 21 - 2/17/62
Rusty Draper - In the Middle of the House - 20 - 9/22/56
Ernie - Rubber Duckie - 16 - 8/29/70
Tommy Facenda - High School U.S.A - 28 - 11/9/59
  (28 versions of this record were issued each mentioning the names
   of high schools in various cities)
Five Blobs - The Blob (from the film) - 33 - 11/3/58
    (Bernie Nee - a one man group - was The Five Blobs)
Fontane Sisters - Nuttin' For Christmas - 36 -12/31/55
Four Preps - Got a Girl - 24 - 5/16/60
Four Preps - More Money For You and Me - 17 - 9/11/61
Stan Freberg - The Yellow Rose of Texas - 16 - 10/22/55
Stan Freberg - Banana Boat (Day-O) - 25 - 4/27/57
Stan Freberg - Wun'erful, Wun'erful! (parts 1 & 2) - 32 - 11/18/57
Frank Gallop - The Ballad of Irving - 34 - 5/7/66
Dave Gardner - White Silver Sands - 22 - 7/22/57
     (this is Brother Dave Gardner the comedian, but the record is
      not labeled as comedy in  the listings.  I would guess that
      this is him singing seriously.)
Tom Glazer & the do-re-mi children's chorus - On Top of Spaghetti
    - 14 - 6/15/63
Dickie Goodman - Energy Crisis '74 - 33 - 2/23/74
Dickie Goodman - Mr. Jaws - 4 - 9/13/75
Barry Gordon - Nuttin' For Christmas - 6 - 12/17/55
Lorne Green - Ringo - 1 - 11/7/64 (not listed as novelty)
Andy Griffith - Make Yourself Comfortable - 26 - 4/2/55
Larry Groce - Junk Food Junkie - 9 - 2/7/76
Rolf Harris - Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport - 3 - 6/22/63
Henhouse Five Plus Two - In The Mood - 40 - 2/5/77 (Ray Stevens creation)
Clarence "Frogman" Henry - Ain't Got No Home - 20 - 1/12/57
Holywood Argyles - Alley-Oop - 1 - 6/13/60
Homer & Jethro - The Battle of Kookamonga - 14 - 9/14/59
Brian Hyland - Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini - 1 - 7/11/60
Ivy Three - Yogi - 8 - 8/29/60 (based on cartoon character)
Jayhawks - Stranded in the Jungle - 18 - 7/28/56
Joze Jimenez (Bill Dana) - The Astronaut (parts 1 & 2) - 19 - 9/18/61
John & Ernest - Super Fly Meets Shaft - 31 - 5/12/73
Betty Johnson - Little Blue Man - 17 - 2/24/58
Jump 'n the Saddle band - The Curly Shuffle - 15 - 12/24/83
Kingston Trio - M.T.A. - 15 - 6/29/59
Kingston Trio - Bad Man Blunder - 37 - 8/8/60
Eddie Lawrence - The Old Philosopher - 34 - 9/1/56
Bob Ludman - Let's Think About Living - 7 - 9/26/60
Cledus Maggard & the citizen's band - The White Night - 19 - 1/24/76
Barry Mann - Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)
     - 7 - 8/21/61
Marathons - Peanut Butter - 20 - 5/22/61
Bobby Marchan - There's Something On Your Mind, part 2 - 31 - 7/11/60
Mark IV - I Got a Wife - 24 - 2/9/59
Pigmeat Markham - Here Comes the Judge - 19 - 7/6/68
Steve martin - King Tut - 17 - 7/8/78
C. W. McCall - Wolf Creek Pass - 40 - 3/22/75
C. W. McCall - Convoy - 1 - 12/13/75
Bob McFadden & Dor - The Mummy - 39 - 9/14/59
Bob & Doug McKenzie (Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas) - Take Off - 16 - 2/20/82
Phil McLean - Small Sad Sam - 21 - 12/18/61
Meat Loaf - Paradise By the Dashboard Light - 39 - 9/16/78
Meco - Themes From the Wizard of Oz - 35 - 10/21/78 (I don't know why
        this one is considered novelty and none of the other Meco hits
        are.)
Mitch Miller & his orchestra - The Children's Marching Song - 16 - 1/26/59
Roger Miller - Dang Me - 7 - 7/4/64
Roger Miller - Chug-A-Lug - 9 - 10/3/64
Roger Miller - Do-Wacka-Do - 31 - 1/2/65
Roger Miller - Kansas City Star - 31 - 10/2/65
Vaughn Monroe - In the Middle of the House - 11 - 9/8/56
Lou monte - Lazy mary (Luna Mezzo Mare) - 12 - 3/17/58
Lou Monte - Pepino the Italian Mouse - 5 - 12/15/62
Melba Montgomery - No Charge - 39 - 6/8/74
Napoleon XIV - They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! - 3 - 7/30/66
Nervous Norvus (Jimmy Drake) - Transfusion - 8 - 6/9/56
Nervous Norvus (Jimmy Drake) - Ape Call - 24 - 8/11/56
Randy Newman - Short People - 2 - 12/10/77
Nutty Squirrels - Uh! Oh! Part 2 - 14 - 11/30/59
Ohio Players - Funky Worm - 15 - 4/14/73
Olympics - Western Movies - 8/4/58
Bill Parsons - The All American Boy - 2 - 12/28/58
Bobby "Boris" Picket & the crypt kickers - Monster Mash - 1 - 9/15/62
Bobby "Boris" Picket & the crypt kickers - Monster's Holiday - 30 - 12/22/62
Bobby "Boris" Picket & the crypt kickers - Monster Mash - 10 - 6/30/73
       (reissue)
Pipkins - Gimme Dat Ding - 9 - 6/6/70
Playmates - Beep Beep - 4 - 11/10/58
Jerry Reed - Amos Moses - 8 - 1/9/71
Jerry Reed - When You're Hot, You're Hot - 9 - 5/29/71
Reunion - Life Is a Rock (but the Radio Rolled Me) - 8 9/28/74
Jack Ross - Cinderella - 16 - 4/7/62
Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron - 2 - 12/17/66
Royal Guardsmen - The Return of the Red Baron - 15 - 3/11/67
Royal Teens - Short Shorts - 3 - 2/3/58 (not listed as novelty)
Bobby Russell - Saturday Morning Confusion - 28 - 8/13/79
Charlie Ryan & the timberline riders - Hot Rod Lincoln - 33 - 8/8/60
Sam the Sham & the pharaohs - Wooley Bully - 2 - 5/1/65
Sam the Sham & the pharaohs - Ju Ju Hand - 26 - 8/21/65
Sam the Sham & the pharaohs - Ring Dang Doo - 33 - 11/13/65
Sam the Sham & the pharaohs - Little Red Riding Hood - 2 - 7/2/66
Sam the Sham & the pharaohs - The hair On my Chinny Chin Chin - 22 -
10/15/66 
Sam the Sham & the pharaohs - How Do You Catch a Girl - 27 - 1/21/67
  (none of the Sam the Sham & the pharaohs records are listed as novelty)
Dave Seville - Witch Doctor - 1 - 4/14/58
Dave Seville - The Bird on My Head - 34 - 7/14/58
Shalamar - Uptown Festival (Motown medley) - 25 - 4/16/77
Dee Dee Sharp - Mashed Potato Time - 2 - 3/17/62 (not listed as novelty)
Dee Dee Sharp - Gravy (for my mashed potatoes) - 9 - 6/23/62
     (not listed as novelty)
Alan Sherman - Hello Mudduh, hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp) - 2 -
8/10/63
("Fingertips part 2" by Little Stevie Wonder was number 1)
Alan Sherman - Crazy Downtown - 40 - 5/8/65
Simon & Garfunkel - At the Zoo - 16 - 4/1/67 (not listed as novelty)
Singing Dogs [Don Charles Presents] - Oh! Susanna - 22 - 12/17/55
  ("jingle bells" did not make the top 40)
Jimmy Soul - Twistin' Maltilda - 22 - 5/5/62 (not listed as novelty)
Jimmy Soul - If You Wanna Be Happy - 1 - 4/20/63 (not listed as novelty)
Jim Stafford - Swamp Witch - 39 - 7/14/73
Jim Stafford - Spiders & Snakes - 3 - 12/29/73 (not listed as novelty)
Jim Stafford - My Girl Bill - 12 - 5/4/74
Jim Stafford - Wildwood Weed - 7 - 7/20/74
Jim Stafford - Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne - 24 - 1/18/75
Jim Stafford - I Got Stoned and I Missed It - 37 - 9/27/75
Standells - Dirty Water - 11 - 6/11/66 (not listed as novelty)
Cyril Stapleton & his orchestra - The Children's Marching Song - 13 -
1/19/59
Dodie Stevens - Pink Shoe Laces - 3 - 3/9/59 (not listed as novelty)
Ray Stevens - Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Disolving Fast
              Acting Pleasant Tasting Green & Purple Pills - 35 - 9/18/61
Ray Stevens - Ahab the Arab - 5 - 7/14/62
Ray Stevens - Harry the Hairy Ape - 17 - 629/63
Ray Stevens - Gitarzan - 8 - 4/26/69
Ray Stevens - Along Came Jones - 27 - 7/26/69
Ray Stevens - The Streak - 1 - 4/27/74
Cliffie Stone & his Orchestra - The Popcorn Song - 14 - 8/13/55
Think - Once You Understand - 23 - 1/1/72
Tiny Tim - Tip-Toe Thru' the Tulips With Me - 17 - 6/8/68
Trashmen - Surfin' Bird - 4 - 12/28/63 (not listed as novelty)
Troggs - Wild Thing - 1 - 7/9/66 (not listed as novelty)
Vapours - Turning Japanese - 36 - 11/15/80 (not listed as novelty)
Vik Venus - Moonflight - 38 - 7/26/69
Larry Verne - Mr. Custer - 1 - 9/5/60
Village People - Macho Man - 25 - 7/29/78 (not listed as novelty)
Village People - Y.M.C.A. - 2 - 11/11/78 (not listed as novelty)
Village People -  In the Navy - 3 - 3/31/79 (not listed as novelty)
Loudon Wainwright III - Dead Skunk - 16 - 2/24/73
Joe Ward - Nuttin For Xmas - 20 - 12/24/55
Meri Wilson - Telephone man - 18 - 7/2/77
Sheb Wooley - The Purple People Eater - 1 - 6/2/58
   (recorded comedy as Ben Colder)
Weird Al Yankovic - Eat It - 12 - 3/17/84
John Zacherle "the cool ghoul" - Dinner With Drac part 1 - 6 - 3/10/58
Ricky Zahnd & the blue jeaners - (I'm Gettin') Nuttin' For Christmas
   - 21 - 12/24/55
Frank Zappa - Valley Girl - 32 - 9/4/82
Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London - 21 - 4/22/78 (not listed as novelty)
ZZ Top - Tush - 20 - 8/16/75 (not listed as novelty)
ZZ Top - legs - 8 - 6/2/84  (not listed as novelty)
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