First Hit #1: June 10, 1972
In an example of a very odd song to hit the number one position, here’s Sammy Davis Jr.’s rendition of the Candy Man. There’s nothing wrong with it, like candy it’s fairly sweet, and the melody will never leave your head in your life. As might be evidenced by my youth, I’m more familiar with the Garbage Man, that Simpson’s song about how garbage men do things with a smile and never judge you. It’s a bit fun, it’s a bit silly, and it’s kind of great in an odd way.
It’s also completely divorced from the trends and common themes of the time, and that’s why it’s an odd hit. It just comes out of nowhere on the chart, a fun little show tune from the Willy Wonka soundtrack that somehow got popular enough that it was propelled to the top of the chart. It’s not odd because there’s a fault in the song, but because it has come out of complete left field. Then again, since the song will never leave your head, it might have launched itself to the pinnacle through a form of brainwashing.