10 One-Hit Workout Wonders: 1960s Edition

Add these one-hit wonders from the 1960s to your workout playlist for a fun blast from the past.

1960s One-Hit Wonders Playlist

The allure of a one-hit wonder is that it has to survive on the merits of the song alone. By design, it’s an act’s first hit (and, as the term implies, its last). To that end, the artist or band couldn’t leverage an existing audience to propel the tune onto the airwaves. Instead, the song has to win folks over with its inherent charm alone.

As examples, the list kicks off with a Dirty Dancing favorite from the Contours and closes out with a Chubby Checker song that spawned a dance craze. (As a testament to its enduring popularity, the latter helped Checker enter the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012 when he serenaded roughly 4,000 folks at once doing his signature dance.) In between, you’ll find a surf epic (“Wipeout”), a display of guitar virtuosity (“Miserlou”) and a song that sounds like it was sung by an old man when—in fact—it was performed by a 16-year-old boy (“The Letter”).

Given their long legacies in popular culture, there’s a good chance you’ll know most every tune below. And the abundant energy that sent them racing up the pop charts should prove equally useful when you need a little pick-me-up mid-run. When that moment strikes, you can tune in to one of our picks below.

The Contours – Do You Love Me? – 75 BPM

The Toys – A Lover’s Concerto – 122 BPM

The Box Tops – The Letter – 140 BPM

J.J. Jackson – But It’s Alright – 118 BPM

Dick Dale and His Del-Tones – Misirlou – 173 BPM

The Foundations – Build Me Up Buttercup – 137 BPM

? & the Mysterians – 96 Tears – 123 BPM

The Surfaris – Wipe Out – 160 BPM

Little Eva – The Loco-Motion – 130 BPM

Chubby Checker – The Twist – 80 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at Run Hundred. Visitors can browse song selections there by genre, tempo and era to find the music that best fits their particular workout routines.


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