This book gives the backstory for dozens of novelty songs and one hit wonders. The writer tells their stories with a marvelous sense of irony and delight: that the singers of Lions Sleep Tonight used to sing the Zulu lyrics without a clue what the song was about, that Convoy was sung by a classically trained art director, that La Macarena was big in South America in the early 1990's (well before it become big in Europe or the US), or that the Hokey Pokey was the B-Side for the Bunny Hop.

Reading this story gives an appreciation for the effort to produce these one-hit wonders and the sheer surprise that was involved in their becoming famous. Interestingly, throughout the book, Collins alludes to dj's and local radio stations that took a chance with one of these songs, something that is difficult to do when clearchannel uses carefully controlled market-driven playlists. This is one of these books with fascinating stories that you will not want to put down.


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This book is out of print and often very expensive when it shows up online. Best buys are likely to be found on Ebay.