What is the most famous instrumental song of the 20th century?

I took a quiz on songs that don’t contain the song’s title. One of the questions concerned an entirely instrumental song, which of course meets the criterion.

The question was:
This song is probably the most famous instrumental pop song of the 20th century. Name this song, played in part by the Memphis Grand.
His answer is: Green Onions, by Booker T. and the MGs, which is apparently the abbreviation for “Memphis Grand”.
I never would have thought of that answer as the 20th century’s most famous instrumental. Here’sa blogger’s listing of the top 100 instrumentals. He has “In The Mood” as #1, which I think is a reasonable answer. He also has the answer above as #31, which seems about right. OTOH, a couple of the instrumentals I would have mulled over for the top spot barely make his top 100 - specifically “Take Five”, which he has at a silly #91.

So, what do you folks think is the most famous instrumental of the 20th century?

My guess would have been, ‘Here Comes The Bride’.

I would think Rhapsody in Blue. I’m not sure Green Onions is any better known then the instrumental version of Girl from Ipanema.

I’d be more inclined to go with something like Rhapsody in Blue or In the Mood as well, simply because they had more years in the 20th century to be popular than Green Onions.

By the way, Booker T. Jones has repeatedly confirmed that the M.G.'s were named after the sports car – “M.G.” didn’t stand for “Memphis Group” (or “Grand”); the Stax publicity materials stating that “MG” was short for “Memphis Group” were probably an attempt to avoid legal hassles with the sports car manufacturer. Besides, the name of the band would have been “Booker T. & the Memphis Groups” and that just doesn’t make sense.

For 20th century pop song? I mean, I suppose if you bend the definition, but I’m assuming we’re talking a song created/recorded in the 20th century in a popular music context.

“In The Mood” sounds like a good one for me. As much as I love Booker T and the MGs, there is no way “Green Onions” is the most popular. In the US, I would put forth “Linus and Lucy,” but that’s US specific.

The question referenced in the OP asks for the most famous instrumental pop song. That narrows the field consioderably, as well as imposing an arbitrary restriction on what may or may not be considered ‘pop’.

“Here Comes the Bride”, being the “Bridal Chorus” from Wagner’s Lohengrin, is definitely not a ‘pop’ song. “Rhapsody in Blue” and “In the Mood” might have both in their own times been in the same category that ‘pop’ describes in this day and age, but I don’t think that moniker would have ever been ascribed to either of them.

The first thing I thought of was “Wipeout”, by The Surfaris (along with countless others).

See, I certainly would call at least “In the Mood” pop. Probably “Rhapsody in Blue,” too, but definitely “In the Mood.” How is it not a pop song? It’s at least as “pop” as Green Onions, and maybe even moreso.

I understood “instrumentals” to mean tunes that never had lyrics. A lot of the ones mentioned do, whether they are well known or not.

The first thing that came to my mind was “Classical Gas” (which, so far as I know, is indeed lyric-less).

Yes, “In the Mood” has lyrics. But the most well known version of the song is an instrumental, so I don’t see how that version doesn’t count as an “instrumental.”

Other than that one, which songs mentioned so far have lyrics? I am not aware of lyrics for “Green Onions” or “Wipeout” or “Rhapsody in Blue” or “Linus and Lucy.”

While I wouldn’t suggest it out ranks “Rhapsody in Blue” etc, my first thought for 20th Century Instrumental was “Chariots of Fire”.

Going Home by Kenny G. must win in some parts of the world.

I would say “Walk Don’t Run”, “Wipeout”, “Pipeline”, “Hawaii Five-O” are four instrumentals that everybody knows, but can’t name.

I would guess something by John Williams.

But they can probably name the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE theme.

“Bugler’s Dream.” The name means nothing to most people, but since it’s been used as the theme song for Olympic broadcasts sine 1968, everyone in the world recognizes it instantly after two notes.

That’s actually another one that came to mind.

Theme from Star Wars? James Bond Theme? For international recognition, these have to be up there.

Non-music person here. I didn’t know the name, but Green Onions is definitely one of the songs I know best in this thread, along with In the Mood and Wipeout. The hands down most familiar is Chariots of Fire but I don’t think you can count TV and movie songs the same as pop songs.

Rhapsody in Blue is famous, and I’ve heard of it, but when I listened to it on Youtube, it didn’t sound familiar at all.

I probably wouldn’t call them instrumentals (in the context we’re using here) unless they were either originally written or at least originally released as instrumentals - that being their purpose/intent/can’t-find-the-right-word. But I am not a fan of instrumental music, so don’t know if that applies in this case.

It’s probably the theme from The Simpsons.