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Your Ultimate Oldies Playlist

 

I’m the kind of person whose music taste is composed of about 40% current indie, alternative music, and the other 60% is nearly all music from before the 1990s. More specifically, between the 1940s and 1960s. Arguably these decades were the heyday of music, and produced some of the greatest artists, bands, and genres of music ever. If you’re into this kind of stuff or want to be, this playlist is a good place to start.

 

1. “Hallelujah I Love Her So” by Ray Charles

One of Ray Charles’ better known songs, but nonetheless one I don’t think people immediately think of when they think of this decade of music. I’m a suck for a brass section, and this one is killer, not to mention the opening piano riff.

 

2. “At Last” by Etta James

This song however, is definitely at the forefront of people's minds when they think of ‘old’ music. It was and still is a very popular first dance song at weddings (I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t considering it), but it still holds up as a classic, and Etta can still perform it!

 

3. “Come See About Me” by The Supremes

One of the aforementioned famous groups to come out of the 60s. The Supremes were a female powerhouse that came out with numerous record-breakers, this just being one of them. Honestly, I was introduced to this song through an episode of “Glee”, but I don’t think that diminishes the integrity of the song whatsoever.

 

4. “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield

Another very popular song from this era, but a good one. Between the twang of the guitar and Dusty’s unique voice that went on to make her famous, I couldn’t stop listening to this song when I re-discovered it.

 

5. “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin

Going right along with the theme of brass, this song not only reminds me of Finding Nemo but immediately puts me in a super beachy mood.

 

6. “Soulful Strut” by Young-Holt Unlimited

This is a song everyone knows but no one realizes it. I think that’s because it’s in a Discovery Commercial and in The Parent Trap. Either way, a beautiful, nostalgic instrumental song.

 

7. “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald

A song that’s been covered by so many people. This is undoubtedly the best version, carried by the Queen of Jazz and an equally admired proponent of the jazz era.

 

8. “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” by Etta James

As you might’ve guessed, I’m a huge fan of Etta. This is another song a lot of people might recognize because there’s a soundbite that made its way into a Flo Rida song in 2011.However, I highly encourage people to listen to the actual song because it is a thousand times better than Flo Rida.

 

9. “You Make Me Feel So Young” by Frank Sinatra

I obviously had to include Frank in this list.. Despite all the controversy about him as a person, no one can deny that he had an amazing voice and was quintessential part of the swing era.

 

10. “When I Fall in Love” by Nat King Cole

Often pitted against Frank Sinatra for the title “King of Swing”, I think they both have their respective talents and unique sounds. This song is less well known but I still feels like it’s a good representation of him as a musician; slow tempo, tender lyrics, and all around warm feelings.

 

11. “Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay & The Americans

God bless Guardians of the Galaxy for resurrecting this song, because it is seriously amazing and also tells a wonderful story with it’s lyrics.

 

12. “B-A-B-Y” by Carla Thomas

Among other movies with incredible soundtracks is Baby Driver starring Ansel Elgort. The whole film is set to music, with this song becoming very significant to the central love story. Carla is right up there with Etta, and her talent is unmatchable.

 

The range of music from the 40s to the 70s was incredible, and this list just barely hits the surface. Hopefully it inspires you to dig deeper into musical history!