Song: “Hooked On A Feeling” by Blue Swede
Reached #1: April 6, 1974 (their first, 1 week)
In 1969, B.J. Thomas wrote and released “Hooked On A Feeling”, a folk-rock hit that went to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1973, Swedish solo artist Björn Skifs was looking for a band to back him up on concerts, and to do an album with him. When he had gotten the band together (as “Blåblus”), he decided to focus on covers of well-known English-language songs. He found “Hooked On A Feeling” – but not the B.J. Thomas original. He found the 1971 British release by Jonathan King – that was the version that had the “ooga chaka” opening chant that the band would make famous (or infamous?). However, since it was assumed the English-language audience wouldn’t know what a “Blåblus” was, the band became “Blue Swede”.
There’s been a rumor over the years that Blue Swede had to learn the song phonetically – I can’t find anything to prove it. Skifs had done work in English before, so it’s likely he had some understanding of the language.
Skifs disbanded Blue Swede after one album to go back to his solo career. He’s still a major star in Sweden, most recently voicing Woody in the Swedish dub of Toy Story and releasing his 24th Swedish album in 2011.
Tomorrow, a Long Island artist whose first 7 hits reached the Billboard Top 10… and then fell off the pop charts, while remaining a popular dance artist.
Other songs that reached #1 on April 6:
1957 – “Round And Round” by Perry Como (his second, 3 weeks, Best Seller chart)