I noticed we don't have one of these, what do you guys think? All the other existing lists are voted on by people who are too young or too stupid to remember more than 20 years back. So I say we do it the right way! The general basis for a one-hit wonder means an artists has only had one song to hit the top 20 on the Hot 100 (in the US, cause then we'd never get a good list off the ground). Of course, we can make some exceptions for the likes of say, Jimi Hendrix who only had one song make the top 20, but because his other songs have a lasting influence and popularity, we'll let it slide.
I don't even really know where to begin, so I'm just gonna go down the regular rock list and pick out a rough top 10, then we'll decide where to go from there. Not sure if infamy as a one-hit wonder trumps its impact on rock in general. Also, should exceptions be made for early rock songs that were major hits on the R&B charts like "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" and "In the Still of the Night".
1. Louie Louie - The Kingsmen *
The Kingsmen had three top 20 hits. "The Jolly Green Giant" hit number 4!
2. American Pie - Don McLean
Don McLean also had three top 20 hits (and two more that hit the top 25). "Vincent" hit number 5. Sorry for the snark, but it seems so far you're making a list of greatest artists with two top five hits and one other that peaked in the teens.
3. Earth Angel - The Penguins
4. Tainted Love - Soft Cell
5. Whip-It - Devo
6. I Only Have Eyes for You - The Flamingos
7. 96 Tears - ? and the Mysterians
8. My Sharona - The Knack
"Good Girls Don't" hit number 11.
9. Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison
10. Last Kiss - J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers
11. I'm Your Puppet - James & Bobby Purify
12. Peppermint Twist - Joey Dee and the Starliters*
Three top 20 hits, with their version of "Shout" hitting number 6.
Sorry, don't mean to be all pedantic on you. But a lot of the things we think of as one-hit wonders weren't.