"Black Betty," by Ram Jam (1977) and Spiderbait (2004)
Lead Belly did it first. He was not an OHW. He most likely adapted his version from an old work song. That was in 1939.
By the time Ram Jam got ahold of it, it had changed. Ram Jam itself had been morphing for years – from the bubblegum of the Lemon Pipers through Starstruck to the swampy blues rock of Ram Jam, they were always just a little off-center. They took Lead Belly’s virtually a cappella song and gave it a down and dirty guitar intro, before getting to the highly insistent vocal punctuated by cymbal and guitar. And an awful lot of “bam-ba-lams.” It burst onto the US pop charts eventually reaching number 18. It was Ram Jam’s only trip into the Hot 100.
Then, 27 years later, Australian band Spiderbait turned up the volume even more. An even more sinewy guitar and an even more snarling vocal propelled the track to the top of the charts in Australia and into the top 40 in the US. Spiderbait would have a bunch of other modest hits in Australia, but nothing approaching “Black Betty.” They would never appear on the US charts again.