One-hit Wonders of the '70s Quiz


By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: Epic Records

About This Quiz

The era of Pink Floyd, ABBA, The Ramones, and Blondie introduced many rockers whose careers have been long and illustrious, but there's also some recognizable one-hit wonders. From the lovesick "My Sharona" by The Knack to the heartbreaking "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin, there are many tracks we've been jamming to for decades possibly not realizing that their artists were flashes in the pan, or perhaps well-respected musicians who never quite managed to have other chart hits. That goes true for other genres of '70s music too.

Are you a self-proclaimed '70s music expert who knows the story behind the classic "American Pie"? Can you name the man who told the nation all about "Kung Fu Fighting"? What about the Grammy-winner behind "Turn the Beat Around"? If the answer is yes then you'll have no problem getting through this quiz, but if you have no clue then settle down, 'cause this is a crash course in the meteoric rise and fall of these '70s rockers. 

We suggest you "Play that Funky Music," "Mr. Big Stuf,f" and get groovin' on this quiz cause "Love Hurts", but taking this quiz is like "Dancing in the Moonlight". Expert or enthusiast, go ahead and test your knowledge of '70s tunes.

Lynn Anderson topped both pop and country charts in 1970, but she certainly never promised you one of these.

Lynn Anderson picked up a Grammy in 1971 for her song "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden."


True or false: The song "Cat's in the Cradle" was inspired by a poem written by Harry Chapin's wife.

Chapin's wife, Sandy, wrote a poem about her experience with her own father, which Chapin transformed into a truly tear-jerking hit.


How long did Norman Greenbaum spend penning the lyrics for "Spirit in the Sky"?

The Jewish songwriter spent just 15 minutes penning the words to the 1969 hit but admits that crafting the melody took much longer.


True or false: The Federal Communications Commission banned the song "One Toke Over the Line" from the radio.

Spiro Agnew made it his mission to take down the Brewer & Shipley song and had the FCC ban it in 1971.


Who sang the 1971 song "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"?

After numerous singers turned down the song that was penned by Bobby Russell, Russell's wife, actress Vicki Lawrence, went into the studio and recorded the song herself.


What band released the song "Play That Funky Music"?

Wild Cherry hit the No. 1 spot on both the Billboard rhythm and blues and pop charts with their 1976 song "Play That Funky Music."


Who sang the 1978 hit "Hot Child in the City"?

Former Sweeney Todd singer Nick Gilder went solo to record "Hot Child in the City," and it became his best-known song.


Which group topped the charts with the song "How Long" in 1974?

British band Ace scored a hit with "How Long," which was later covered by Barbara Mandrell and Rod Stewart.


Who earned a Grammy nod for her 1976 version of "Turn the Beat Around"?

She didn't win the big prize, but one-hit wonder Vicki Sue Robinson did receive the honor of a Grammy nomination for best pop female for "Turn the Beat Around."


What year was everybody "Kung Fu Fighting"?

Everybody was kung fu fighting in 1974 thanks to a surprise hit song from Carl Douglas.


Who originally sang "Love Hurts"?

Nazareth found fame with a power ballad version of the Everly Brothers' classic "Love Hurts."


Where did DJ Tom Clay hail from?

Detroit DJ Tom Clay hit the big time in 1971 with a remix of "What the World Needs Now." The song peaked at No. 8 in 1971, and Clay never had another hit song.


True or false: Mungo Jerry hailed from the U.K.

His smooth hit "In the Summertime" may have sounded like it was inspired by island living, but Mungo Jerry actually came from Britain.


Who sang the song "Mr. Big Stuff"?

Jean Knight crooned the sassy tune, which soared to the top of the soul charts in the fall of 1971.


How long did Anita Ward spend recording "Ring My Bell"?

Ward recorded the song (reluctantly) in just two days in 1979. It went on to be her biggest hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five months.


What band found fame with "The Boys Are Back in Town"?

Thin Lizzy almost didn't include its most famous song on the 1976 album "Jailbreak" and was surprised when the song became a huge hit.


True or false: The title "American Pie" was inspired by the name of a plane.

The song may have referenced a plane crash as the day the music died, but Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were not flying on a plane called "American Pie."


How long is the song "American Pie"?

The 1971 song by Don McLean might just be the biggest one-hit wonder of all time, and it's also one of the longest, with a running time of eight minutes.


Who sang the song "Hey There Lonely Girl"?

Eddie Holman crooned the 1970 soul classic "Hey There Lonely Girl."


What band sang "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke"?

The New Seekers sang the original Coca-Cola jingle, which became a huge hit after it was shipped to radio stations in February 1971.


Who did the lead singer of the Knack pen "My Sharona" for?

The lead singer of The Knack wrote the song for a girl he liked named Sharona, who later became his girlfriend. Her image was used on the cover of the single.


What year did Van McCoy top the charts with "The Hustle"?

McCoy's 1975 hit song found footing on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Hottest Soul Singles chart.


What year did King Harvest release "Dancing in the Moonlight"?

"Dancing in the Moonlight" was all the rage in 1973, but King Harvest quickly faded from the spotlight, and the band broke up by the end of the decade.


True or false: Edison Lighthouse wasn't a real band.

"Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" was credited to Edison Lighthouse. The song was actually put together by a songwriter and producer and performed by a session singer named Tony Burrows.


What band was Lillian Lopez a part of?

As part of Odyssey, Lopez was best known for the 1977 disco hit "Native New Yorker."


What year did the Five Stairsteps release "O-o-h Child"?

The Chicago family consisting of four boys and one girl who played their own instruments (take that, Jackson 5) scored a big hit with "O-o-h Child" in 1970.


What year did Bobby Bloom release the cheerful "Montego Bay"?

Bloom found fame with his 1970 song "Montego Bay" but never had much success in the proceeding years. He was killed in 1974 in an accidental shooting.


How many Grammy nominations did the Starland Vocal Band earn in 1976?

The band earned five Grammy nominations and won two awards thanks largely to the success of their song "Afternoon Delight."


A visit to this state inspired Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi."

Mitchell penned her 1970 chart topper after a less-than-inspiring trip to a parking lot in Hawaii.


What 1972 one-hit wonder was featured in a 1999 Volkswagen commercial?

"Pink Moon," off Nick Drake's 1972 album of the same name, found little fame in the '70s but gained attention when it was featured in a 1999 car commercial.


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