One Hit Wonders: The Knack (1979)

My Sharona
Single: The Knack
Album: Get the Knack
B-side: Let Me Out
Released: June 1979
Recorded: April 1979
Songwriters:
Doug Fieger, Berton Averre

In 2008, "My Sharona" ranked number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top SongsIn 2011, Rolling Stone's readers voted "My Sharona" by The Knack number six of the Top 10 One-Hit Wonders of All Time.  In the US, this was the best-selling single of 1979.


Sharona

Doug Fieger, the lead singer of The Knack, wrote the lyrics of "My Sharona" about a real person, Sharona Alperin.  She's on the cover of the single holding a "Get the Knack" album. 

Fieger was 25 years old when he met the then 17-year-old Alperin. She inspired in him a two-month-long run of songwriting, including this tune. Fieger recalled; "It was like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat; I fell in love with her instantly. And when that happened, it sparked something and I started writing a lot of songs feverishly in a short amount of time."

In an interview with the Washington Post, Doug Fieger said: "I was 25 when I wrote the song. But the song was written from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy. It's just an honest song about a 14-year-old boy."

"My Sharona" isn't  the only song on the "Get the Knack" LP about Fieger's feelings for Sharona . The songs "That's What the Little Girls Do" and "(She's So) Selfish" were also inspired by her. About a year after they first met she became his girlfriend. The couple were together for about four years. The rock and roll lifestyle and Fieger's alcoholism became too much for Sharona.   

Bologna

Weird Al Yankovic's "My Bologna" was his first single and started his career in song parody. Al recorded song parodies in high school, including a takeoff on "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" called "You Don't Take Your Showers." He sent them the Dr. Demento show, a syndicated broadcast specializing in funny and offbeat songs. Demento wrote back, informing Al that he had potential.  

Dr Demento & Weird Al Yankovich

While studying architecture in college, Yankovich DJed on the school radio station. "My Sharona" was the most-requested song. Al wrote a take off on it - "My Bologna" - recorded it in the bathroom across the hall from the station, and sent it to Dr. Demento. The DJ played it on his show and it became number 1 on his "Funny Five" countdown for two weeks.

Producer Quincy Jones wanted a rock and roll-inspired song like "My Sharona" for Michael Jackson's 1982 Thriller album. In response, Jackson wrote "Beat It." Al Yankovich hit the big time with his parody of that tune, "Eat It."

Yankovic is one of only three artists who have achieved a Top 40 hit every decade since the 1980s on the Hot 100. The other two are Michael Jackson and Madonna. His Top 40 songs are:

1984 "Eat It" #12
1992 "Smells Like Nirvana" #35
2006 "White And Nerdy" #9
2014 "Word Crimes" #39

Corona

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, you knew it was going to happen. But on March 3, 2020, Weird Al Yankovic made it clear he had no plans for a parody, tweeting, "Yeah, no, sorry. Not gonna do 'My Corona.'" 

The Knack's bassist, Prescott Niles, released a guitar solo instruction video of the song. YouTuber Dr. Zubin Damania made a version of "My Corona" and uploaded it to his channel on February 28, 2020.  It has 2,174,080 views at the time of this post.

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