Celebrating One-Hit Wonder Day

One-Hit Wonder Day
Graphics by Ainsley Basic

National One-Hit wonder day is less than a week away! To celebrate, on Friday, September 24th, we’ll air all of the best unexpected chart-toppers. Read through five of our staff’s favorites below. Plus, make sure we don’t miss any by adding your picks through the bottom form!



With its iconic fuzzy guitar sound and backing choir from the Stovall Sisters, “Spirit In The Sky” is infectious and inspiring. Massachusetts native Norman Greenbaum’s inspiration for writing this tune came from seeing gospel and country music become popular on television. After watching a Porter Wagoner gospel performance, Greenbaum thought “I could do that,” despite being raised Jewish and not knowing anything about gospel. He wrote “Spirit In The Sky” right away. Perfectly mixing the rock energy with the uplifting gospel choir, Norman Greenbaum created a timeless masterpiece.

- Meghan Hockridge, Program Coordinator



Topping the alternative and rock charts in multiple categories in both the U.S. and Canada, Blind Melon’s one-hit wonder, “No Rain” is an upbeat alternative song about a slightly more downbeat topic: depression and overcoming it. At the time of creating this hit, the band’s bass player, Brad Smith, was dating a girl who was dealing with mental illness and wanted to write a song from her perspective. Upon its release in 1992, it became Blind Melon’s breakthrough single, and their only song to top the charts! 

- Erin Norton, Staff Writer



Written before the members of Eve 6 had even graduated high school, “Inside Out,” has a fiery, youthful passion. As the lead single from their self-titled first album released in 1998, it belongs in the exclusive club of debuts that reached number one on the charts. In an interview with Stereogum, Max Collins shared that his inspiration was the heartbreak he felt when his girlfriend at the time cheated on him. Image-filled lyrics like “want to put my tender heart in a blender, watch it spin round to a beautiful oblivion” are impossibly fun. But there’s also a sense of power in belting them out alongside the band and exhilarating rock instrumentation. “Rendezvous, then I’m through with you,” Collins defiantly ends the song, hurt but ready to move on.

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator



My best friend and I have danced and belted "She's So High" by Tal Bachman on many of our best nights, and it has to be my favorite one-hit wonder. Inspired by the artist's experience with bribing the hottest girl at his school to date his stepbrother, he manages to capture teen angst and awe all in one catchy pop tune. I hope you enjoy this song just as much as I do during our one-hit wonder day!

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator



Wheatus created the teenage outcast anthem when they released "Teenage Dirtbag." The song tells the story of a boy who is in love with a girl that doesn't know him. And, even worse, she has a boyfriend. There's a plot twist to the story that comes around in the chorus, but I won't spoil it for you if you haven't heard it. Additionally, this song has had a lot of unique censorship, specifically in the second verse. Keep an eye out for certain phrases or words replaced by a scratching sound.

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator


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