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Jimmy Soul’s “If You Wanna Be Happy” Hits No. 1

May 18, 1963 - Hitting No. 1 today on the Billboard Hot 100 is Jimmy Soul’s “If You Wanna Be Happy.” It is based on the song "Ugly Woman,” recorded in 1934 by the calypso musician Roaring Lion (real name Rafael de Leon). Jimmy Soul, born James McCleese, became a preacher at the age of seven and performed gospel music as a teenager. He acquired his performing name, “Soul,” from his congregation. Jimmy previously had a top-40 hit single with “Twistin’ Matilda,” which peaked at No. 22 for the week ending May 26, 1962.


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