The classic example is "The Chipmunk Song," which was the lowest rated song ever on American Bandstand's "Rate a Record" segment. The three kids on the panel hated it. I know because I was watching the show that day. That was over 50 years ago, and the Chipmunks are still wildly popular. Who would have guessed? Nobody at the time, though Dick Clark told the panel that they were wrong about the song and that he thought it was going to be a huge hit. However, I suspect that even he never imagined what that song would spawn. The song's creator, Ross Bagdasarian, was a cousin of William Saroyan (talk about forgotten writers!), and in 1951 the two of them wrote a big hit for Rosemary Clooney, "Come on-a my House," based on some lines from a Saroyan novel.
On his own, Bagdasarian started out with novelty records like "The Trouble with Harry," as by "Alfi and Harry" in 1956. It has the same title as the Hitchcock movie, but it's not otherwise connected. (However, for you trivia and mystery fans, Bagdasarian did have a small part in Rear Window.)
As David Seville, Bagdsarian really came into his own as a novelty recording star with 1958's "The Witch Doctor," sort of a warm-up for "The Chipmunk Song." The Witch Doctor" sold over a million records.
Silly? Sure, but it had a good beat and you could dance to it.
His next song, "The Bird on my Head" was only a minor hit. Not novelty enough? Too silly? I don't know. I always kind of liked it. But then I'm pretty strange.
Then came "The Chipmunk Song," and while it's a bit early in the year, why not have a listen to one of the biggest novelty songs ever.
I'm out of the loop today, so I have no idea if there are new novelty songs around. If there aren't maybe there's a good reason.