Song: “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas
Reached #1: December 7, 1974 (his first, 2 weeks)
As we learned yesterday, throwaway B-sides don’t always stay thrown away.
“Kung Fu Fighting” was dashed off in two takes at the end of a three-hour recording session for the song that was supposed to be Carl Douglas’ single, “I Want To Be Your Everything”.
In this case, it was the record label that decided the “fun” B-side should be the single… a decision that took a while to vindicate. It wasn’t until the song started making dance club playlists that the mainstream radio industry started to notice the song… and then it took off.
Douglas’ career was kind of buried behind “Kung Fu Fighting”. He did try to release other singles, but he’s spent most of his career singing the song (or appearing on cover versions). That’s not all bad – “Kung Fu Fighting” sold 11 million copies around the world, and those royalties just keep piling up…
Tomorrow, the band from Chicago’s Paradise Theatre hits #1…
Other songs that reached #1 on December 7:
1963 – “Dominique” by the Singing Nun (her first, 4 weeks)
1985 – “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister (their first, 2 weeks)
1991 – “Black or White” by Michael Jackson (his eleventh, 7 weeks)
1996 – “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton (her second, 11 weeks)