The term ‘One hit wonder’ is a musical slur to most, but the term seems unavoidable to describe Jimmy Soul and his career, which mostly revolved around number one hit success on the Billboard Hot 100, “If You Wanna Be Happy.”
Based on the calypso, “Ugly Woman” by Roaring Lion, the lyrically controversial track was even banned on many radio stations! Goodness forbid an artist sing of ugliness and sexual image. Times have culturally changed since then: Top charters sing of casual sex, homosexuality, and how low one can go. What remains is this feel-good classic, and its gold disc status. We suggest you keep it off the wedding reception playlist though–or don’t. Happy listening!