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Pop quiz: Test yourself on 50 years of one-hit wonders

So you had a bad day? Singer Daniel Powter just had a worse one. He has been named the biggest one-hit wonder of the decade by Billboard magazine. • Who's Daniel Powter, you ask? Ha. That's sort of the point. But back in 2006, his song Bad Day was the No. 1 in the country for five weeks. • Now don't pretend you never heard of it. The chorus alone is pretty catchy. "Because you had a bad day / You're taking one down / You sing a sad song just to turn it around." • Yep, it actually turns frowns upside down. • In all fairness to the 38-year-old Canadian popster, it's not like he's trying to remain a pop culture footnote. A few of Powter's lesser-known songs — Best of Me, Next Plane Home — have appeared on the reality TV show The Biggest Loser. (Oh, the irony.) And he did spend much of 2009 touring Europe, though for all we know he was playing the Ye Olde Noodle Shoppe in many stops. • Okay, okay. We'll stop. And cheer up, Daniel. It turns out you have some interesting company. Here's a quick quiz about notable one-hit wonders from previous decades.


In 1958, a doo-wop group from Staten Island named the Elegants added some romantic lyrics — "Searched all over for a love / You're the one I'm thinkin' of" — to the nursery ditty Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and transformed it into their only hit song. What was the song title?

a. Shining Star

b. Catch a Falling Star

c. Little Star


Dominique, which topped the charts 1963 for five weeks, is actually a eulogy of St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican religious order. As a Belgian nun she was called Sister Luc-Gabrielle, but what was the Singing Nun's real name?

a. Debbie Reynolds

b. Jeanine Deckers

c. Sally Field


British musician Robin Scott fronted the synth-new wave band known simply as M. In 1979, the act scored a runaway hit with a song about the grip music had on society. Name the song.

a. Pop Muzik

b. Shake Your Groove Thing

c. I Was Made For Dancin'

, 1980s

Bobby McFerrin used only his body to make the sounds for 1988 hit Don't Worry, Be Happy, a name that reportedly came from the four-word philosophy of Indian guru Meher Baba. What TV show theme song did McFerrin also perform in the '80s?

a. Cheers

b. Perfect Strangers

c. The Cosby Show

, 1990s

A Spanish music duo is responsible for the atrocious dance craze/song known simply as Macarena. VH1 recently dubbed the 1992 song as the greatest one-hit wonder of all time. Name the group responsible.

a. Los del Río

b. Gipsy Kingdom

c. Rodrigo Y Gabriela


1. c 2. b 3. a 4. c 5. a

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report, which contains material from the Associated Press, Billboard and

Pop quiz: Test yourself on 50 years of one-hit wonders 12/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 8:05am]
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