Time for a pop quiz on oldies music. I can’t help it. I’m a teacher. Everything comes in the form of a quiz.

There are three ways to take this quiz.

1) Answer the questions and then research the answers for yourself. That’s the hard way.

2) Reply to this email with your answers. I’ll respond with the correct answers.

3) Follow the link to the Google Forms version of the quiz. There, you will find the answers, more information about each question, and your final score.

Google Forms – Oldies Music Quiz

No names or emails will be collected on the Google Form page. If you’d like bragging rights, please add your name, nickname, or user name to the last question.

Good luck!

Oldies Music – Which came first?


1) What was the first song to top the Billboard Hot 100 list? (3 points)

A – “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets

B – “Shake, Rattle, and Rolls” by Big Joe Turner

C – “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson

D – “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley


2) Which Andrews Sisters song came first? (2 points)

A – “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”

B – “Beer Barrel Polka” (also called “Roll Out the Barrel”) – a song my parents made me listen to if I didn’t start singing something else in the car.

C – “I Can Dream, Can’t I?”


3) Okay, maybe not that old. Let’s move forward a few years. What was the first song the Beatles took to the top of the charts? (2 points)

A – “She Loves You”

B – “Love Me Do”

C – “Help”

D – “I Want To Hold Your Hand”


4) Who first recorded the song “Unchained Melody?” (3 points)

A – Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, and Roy Hamilton each recorded the song the same year.

B – The Righteous Brothers

C – Todd Duncan sang the vocals for a movie called “Unchained.”

D – Jimmy Young and Liberace recorded versions of the song within two weeks of each other.


5) Speaking of soundtracks… Which movie soundtrack was the top seller of all time with $45 million in sales? (2 points)

A – Titanic (1997) This is an oldie if you’re a teenager.

B – Dirty Dancing (1987)

C – Grease (1978)

D – The Bodyguard (1992)


6) What was the first Folk Record (now called Country and Western) song to make Billboard’s list on January 8, 1944? (2 points)

A – “Pistol Packin’ Mama” recorded by Al Dexter

B – “Smoke On the Water” by Bob Wills

C – “I’ll Hold You In My Heart” by Eddy Arnold


7) Country music was originally called Folk songs. But folk music had its own moment in musical history. Which of these American singers first recorded folk music? (2 points)

A – Pete Seger with “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

B – Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land”

C – Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly) with “Goodnight Irene”

D – Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind”


8) Which close encounter came first? (2 points)

A – The Carpenters’ first hit “Close To You”

B – “Near You” by George Jones and Tammy Wynette

C – “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King

D – The movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”


9) Which “On the Road Again” song came first? (3 points)

A – Lovin’ Spoonfuls – YouTube: Lovin’ Spoonful – “On the Road Again”

B – Willie Nelson – YouTube: Willie Nelson – “On the Road Again”

C – Canned Heat – YouTube: Canned Heat – “On the Road Again”

D – Bob Dylan – YouTube: Bob Dylan – “On the Road Again”

E – Aerosmith – YouTube: Aerosmith – “On the Road Again”


10) Which #1 Billboard sad soul came first? (1 point)

A – “Cathy’s Clown” by the Everly Brothers

B – “Tom Dooley” by The Kingston Trio

C – “Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri Las


11) Speaking of feeling blue… Which came first? (2 points)

A – “Blue Suede Shoes”

B – “Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain”

C – “Mr. Blue Sky”

D – “Blue Moon”


12) I could listen to my favorite crooner do these songs all night. (Well, maybe not the one you played for two hours straight…) Which came first? (3 points)

A – “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones

B – Anne Murray’s “When I Fall”

C – “Long Black Veil” first recorded by Lefty Frizzell

D – “As Tears Go By” recorded by Marianne Faithfull

E – “Nights In White Satin” by The Moody Blues


13) Going way back! What was the first recorded song in history? (3 points)

A – Elgar Edgar’s “Cello Concerto” played by Beatrice Harrison

B – Arthur Sullivan’s “The Lost Chord”

C – “Au Clair de la Lune”


Congratulations on completing the Oldies music quiz. Here’s your grade:

0 – 10 points – Something below a D – Let’s assume you spent your youth studying chemistry.
11-15 points – D – So you finally found the radio after the chemistry set caught fire.
16 – 20 points – C – Maybe you could only listen to the radio when your parents left you home alone.
21 – 25 points – B – You were the kid who drove through town with the windows open and the radio blaring.
26 – 30 points – A+ – Have you ever considered trying out for “Name That Tune?” You’re a master at oldies music!


Love taking quizzes? Try these: Take a Quiz!


Want to find the top Billboard songs from the 1940s to this year? Wikipedia – List of Billboard Number-One Singles

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