So Groovy: One-Hit Wonders Of The 1960s

“If You Wanna Be Happy” – Jimmy Soul

Photo Credits: Gilles Petard/Redferns
Photo Credits: Gilles Petard/Redferns

Recorded in 193 by Jimmy Soul, “If You Wanna Be Happy” was written by Joseph Royster, Carmella Guida, and Frank Guida. The song is based on the track “Ugly Woman” by the Trinidadian calypsonian Roaring Lion, recorded in 1934. The song made it to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 18, 1963 and the R&B Singles chart.

For a time, the song was banned on numerous radio stations for the lyrics “Ugly Girl/Woman” and a dialogue discussing and woman’s looks in a negative way. The song has been used in films throughout the years in films such as Clean and Sober and Rocky and Bullwinkle.