wild thing performance


On this day in music history: July 30, 1966 - “Wild Thing” by The Troggs hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Chip Taylor, it is the biggest hit for the British rock band from Andover, Hampshire, UK. Penned by songwriter Chip Taylor (real name James Wesley Voight, brother of Oscar winning actor Jon Voight, and uncle of Oscar winning actress Angelina Jolie), the first version of the song is recorded by the New York City based band The Wild Ones in 1965. The Troggs record the song at Olympic Studios in London in early 1966 in just two takes. The record breaks in the bands native UK first following an appearance on the television program “Thank Your Lucky Stars”. When “Wild Thing” is released as a single in the US, it is the subject of a dispute over its distribution rights. It is released simultaneously on both Atco and Fontana Records, who both claim ownership of The Troggs master recording. It becomes the only number one single in Billboard chart history to simultaneously chart on two different labels. Entering the Hot 100 at #75 on June 25, 1966, it rockets to the top of the chart five weeks later. A garage band staple, “Wild Thing” is covered numerous times over the years, including versions by The Kingsmen, Cheap Trick, Jeff Beck, and The Runaways. In 1967, comedian  Bill Minkin records a novelty parody of the song, mimicking Senator and former US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Released under the name “Senator Bobby”, Minkin’s version peaks at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Jimi Hendrix Experience also perform “Wild Thing” during their breakthrough performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967. “Wild Thing” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.