The great Chuck Berry has only had one number one song in his career.
Not Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, Maybellene, Brown Eyed Handsome Man or Nadine.
No, his only Billboard #1 was My Ding-a-Ling.
That sad ode to choking the chicken topped the charts in 1972. Johnny B. Goode only went to #7.
I’m not a huge fan of the Beach Boys but God Only Knows and Good Vibrations are pop music masterpieces.
And their only #1 song was a piece of dreck called Kokomo.
Alan Cross recently posted a link to Buzzfeed’s worst #1 songs ever.
You’ll find the usual suspects on that list. Having My Baby, the two songs mentioned above, You’re Beautiful, We Built this City and my choice for the worst pop hit in history, MacArthur Park. As humourist Dave Barry said in his book of bad songs, if the best the song’s protagonist could do was to compare his lost love to a cake melting in the rain, it’s no wonder his woman left him.
I’m also reminded of an entertainment writer (possibly for Entertainment Weekly) who wrote about the questionable nominees for the People’s Choice Awards and suggested the people should not be allowed to choose anything.
The good news is, time heals such musical wounds.
I would be willing to be that right now, somewhere in the world, a band is ripping into Johnny B Goode and the crowd is loving it. It’s a timeless rock and roll classic. On the flipside, My Ding-a-Ling, MacArthur Park, The Macarena and Don’t Worry Be Happy are musical punchlines.
Go Johnny go, indeed!