Norman Greenbaum

Though Norman Greenbaum had been part of another one-hit wonder in 1968 when, as a member of Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band, he recorded “The Eggplant that Ate Chicago,” it’s the first twangy notes of “Spirit in the Sky” would be a sure-fire win on Name That Tune. This easily-identifiable song by Malden, Massachusetts, native and one-hit wonder Norman Greenbaum sold more than two million copies in 1969 and 1970. It caused quite a stir when a nice Jewish boy who spent a few years at Boston University talked about “finding a friend in Jesus.” Greenbaum still has CDs on the market, offering up such ditties as “Canned Ham” and “California Earthquake” along with his kazoo version of “Eleanor Rigby.” “Spirit in the Sky” lives on in movie soundtracks (Wayne’s World 2), ad campaigns (Infiniti, American Express) and video games (the Rock Band series).
(by Fran Berger)

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