Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Ten-Pin Pop: Nothing But Bowling Songs

A rousing game of the ten-pin variant known as duckpin made me wonder recently how many songs have been written in celebration of the sport of bowling — an all-ages balm for these fun-starved times.

In “Bowling U.S.A.,” Wayne Kent, lead singer of The Blue Flames, exalts in one of America’s favorite pastimes while bravely confessing a physical frailty that (he claims) makes it impossible for him to even hoist the ball:

“Bowling U.S.A.”

The Blue Flames (1960)

Tip of the hat to 45Cat contributor mickey rat, whose research reveals indie label, Strand, to have once been a subsidiary company of Consolidated Frybrook Industries, founded in 1958 by Canadian entrepreneur, Jack Kent Cooke, who would go on to own a number of media outlets and professional sports teams, including the Washington [Pig]skins, as well as – at one point – the Chrysler Building.

Written by Lou Stallman & Sid Jacobson

Bowling USA

Listed below are a number of notable bowling-related songs that include links to streaming audio – another public service from those tireless researchers at Zero to 180:

Bowling Alley     Harry Harden & His Musette Orchestra [1941]

The Bowling Song”     Dick Leibert at the Hammond Organ [1950]

Bowling Alley Polka”    Gene Wisniewski [1952]

The Bowling Song”     Joe Montgomery [1957]

Gotta Go Bowling”     Guy Goodwin [1960]

Bowling U.S.A.”     The Blue Flames [1960]

Let’s Go Bowling”     Tommy Barnes Orchestra [1961]

Tenpin Bowling”     Bryan Davies [Australia] [1962]

Bowling Twist”     The Kili Jacks [Belgium] [1962]


Bowling”     Piero Umiliani [Italy] [1962]

Bowling Alley Blues”     The Flintstones [1962]

Bowling Twist”     Sam Thomas & the Valaneers  [1963]

Bowling Ball Blues”     Mack Fields [1964]

Let’s Go Bowling”     Bert Kaempfert [1964]

Let’s Go Bowling”     Fred Baca [1965]

Left Hand Bowling Ball”     Dubb Pritchett [1965]

Bowling Alley, Oop”     The Cavemen [196?]

Bowling Beat”     Luis Enriquez [Italy] [1966]

Bowling Pop”     Jacky Noguez et Son Orchestre [France] [1967]

Bowling Brings Out the Swinger in You”     The Twilights [Australia] [1967]

Australia – 1969


The Bowling Song”     Don Lewis [1968]

Bowling Alley Polka”     Eddie Olinski Orchestra [1972]

Bowling Alley”     Lord Funny [1974]

Let’s Go Bowling”     The Telefones [1980]

Bowling with Bedrock Barney”     The Dickies [1980]

Crayola Bowling”     Stick Figures [1981]

Take the Skinheads Bowling”     Camper Van Beethoven [1985]

The Bowling Ball”     Carl F. Becker [1985]

L.G.B.”     Let’s Go Bowling [1988]

Bowling Ball Gardens”     The Halibuts [1994]

Bowling Machine”     Thee Michelle Gun Elephant [Japan] [1996]

Bowling and Beer”     Da Yoopers [1999]


The Bowling Song”     Asleep at the Wheel [2001]

Let’s Go Bowling”     Camera Obscura [2001]

Bowling Song”     Stephen Lynch [2002]

Bowling with Mark E. Smith”     The Ik Jan Cremers [2007]

Red Bowling Ball Ruth”     The White Stripes [2011]

Laser Cat Bowling”     Parry Gripp [2012]

Miss Marlene”     Donald Fagen [2012]

Making Out in the Bowling Alley”     Brave Combo [2012]

Beer Frame Judy”     Mike J. Laneside & the Front Four [2013]

Bowling Trophies”     Foxygen [2013]

Teddy’s Bowling Alley”     Charly Fasano with Lucero [2014]

Bowling Dub”     Beat Pharmacy [2015]

Fat Raccoon Holding a Bowling Ball”     Juan Sanchez [Sweden] [2015]

Let’s Go Bowling”     Ramirez Exposure [Spain] [2015]

Bowling Dub”     Beat Pharmacy [2015]

Bowling Alley”     Mentana [Canada] [2016]

Bowling Barmy”     Toy Dolls [UK] [2016]

Bowling Lanes”     Steve Haley [2017]

Cosmos Bowling”     ohyeahsumi [2017]

Betty Goes Bowling”     Marta Woodhull [2017]

Bowling Balls”     Insane Clown Posse [2018]

Bowling With Mr. G”     Monkey [2018]

Bowling”     Brother Moses [2018]

Bowling Alley”     Alright Gandhi [Europe] [2018]

Let’s Go Bowling”    Kuwata Keisuke & The Pin Boys [Japan] [2019]

Bowling”     Edward Hoagland [2019]

Veux-Tu Jouer Au Bowling?”     Bleu Jeans Bleu [Canada] [2019]

Bad Pin”     Temporex [2021]

Bowling”     BeatLoud [2021]

Bowling Pins”     Gift of Gab     2022




*Laser Cat Bowling

Parry (“Raining Tacos“) Gripp (2012)


Bowling Alone

Don’t Do It!

Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work – but no longer, noted Robert Putnam in his seminal 1995 essay, “Bowling Alone:  America’s Declining Social Capital,” a sobering assessment of the many ways to which our social structures have atrophied since the 1950s.  Putnam, who would develop this thesis into a book-length treatment, Bowling Alone:  The Collapse and Revival of American Community, was kind enough to comment by email in 2015 from Harvard when informed about Zero to 180’s discography of bowling-related songs.  “Love the sounds,” enthused Putnam, who closed the message with “may all your balls be strikes!”

8 Responses

  1. Thanks for a great listing!!!! I will have a blast listening! What’s the best way to share the info with other would be fans?

  2. There is another song from a band called da yoopers called bowling and beer it not a bad listen as well love alot of these songs u posted

  3. Not exactly about bowling, but the Traveling Wilburys song “My Baby” has the following stanza.

    She’s got a body for business
    Got a head for sin
    She knocks me over like a bowling pin

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