Question Mark and the Mysterians are an American garage rock band from Bay City and Saginaw in Michigan, who were initially active between 1962 and 1969. Much of the band’s music consisted of electric organ-driven instrumentals, and an enigmatic image inspired by the science fiction film The Mysterians. In addition, the band’s sound was also marked by raw-resonating lead vocals of “?” (Question Mark), making Question Mark and the Mysterians one of the earliest groups whose musical style is described as punk rock. Through their music, the group was recognized as a template for similar musical acts to follow.
The band was signed to Pa-Go-Go Records in 1966, and released its first, and most acclaimed single, “96 Tears”, in the early part of the year. “96 Tears” became a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and propelled the group to a 15-month period of national prominence. Their debut album, 96 Tears followed. Though Question Mark and the Mysterians were unable to replicate their success with their later recordings, and are mistakenly deemed a “one-hit wonder”, they did manage to reach the singles charts on five different occasions. In 1968, their label, Cameo-Parkway, was shut down for stock manipulation by the Securities Exchange Commission, taking the band’s money and contract with them. After their disbandment in 1969, the band has regrouped and released additional material over the years.