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Playlist: 250 Songs from the 1950s

Part 1

Now, I love songs from the 1950s and if I were to tell you the truth, I was meant to make this list "100 songs from the 1950s" as that is what it previously said on my handwritten notes. I got a bit carried away and realised that when I reached about 70, I still had so much more to say. I still have so much more to say now and yet, I wanted to keep this article manageable. I may do a "part two" to this playlist, but for no,w I hope you enjoy the first 250 songs that I love that came out between the years 1950 and 1959. This means that people like Bobby Vee, Bob Dylan and some of Joan Baez's music will not be making the list (cries in anger, oh god why). But, you will see some familiar faces I hope and I really do hope with all my heart that you have a lovely time reading my list and listening to my recommended 250 songs. 

These songs are in no specific order at all. But we are going to go backwards because I've been researching and that's what all good lists do for some reason. I haven't really worked out why, so if you could tell me that would be nice. My twitter handle is @3ftMonster - contact me if you have the answer to my question. (I'm not actually three feet, I'm five feet two and a half inches, but I did learn that I was shorter than Ritchie Valens ever was, so I guess I'll be shorter than everyone forever). Let's get started then!


"Magic Moments" - Perry Como 

"I Believe" - Frankie Laine 

"I'm Walking Behind You" - Eddie Fisher

"Need Your Loving Tonight" - Elvis Presley 

"On the Street Where You Live" - Vic Damone 

"As I Love You" - Shirley Bassey 

"Living Doll" - Cliff Richard 

"When" - The Kalin Twins 

"Butterfly" - Andy Williams 

"Yes, Tonight Josephine" - Johnnie Ray


"Whole Lotta Woman" - Marvin Rainwater 

"I Got Stung" - Elvis Presley 

"Young Love" - Tab Hunter 

"Puttin' On Style/ Gamblin' Man" - Lonny Donegan 

"The Story of My Life" - Michael Holliday 

"Cumberland Gap" - Lonny Donegan 

"Rock-a-Billy" - Guy Mitchell 

"Just Walking in the Rain" - Johnnie Ray 

"The Garden of Eden" - Frankie Vaughan 

"Sixteen Tons" - Tennessee Ernie Ford


"Three Coins in the Fountain" - Frank Sinatra

"Stranger in Paradise" - Tony Bennett 

"Secret Love" - Doris Day 

"Such a Night" - Johnnie Ray 

"I'll Be Home" - Pat Boone 

"Unchained Melody" - Jimmy Young 

"Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" - Perry Como 

"Mambo Italiano" - Rosemary Clooney 

"My Son, My Son" - Vera Lynn

"Look at that Girl" - Guy Mitchell


"Wild is the Wind" - Nina Simone 

"Rock Around the Clock" - The Isley Brothers 

"Frankie and Johnny" - Jerry Lee Lewis 

"St. Louis Blues" - LaVern Baker 

"Ready Teddy" - Little Richard 

"I'm Ready" - Muddy Waters

"Love Me or Leave Me" - Nina Simone 

"Memories of El Monte" - The Penguins 

"Mary Ann" - Ray Charles 

"Hurry Up" - Ritchie Valens 


"Carol" - Chuck Berry 

"Purple People Eater" - Sheb Wooley 

"Lollipop" - The Chordettes 

"Wear My Ring Around Your Neck" - Elvis Presley 

"Poor Little Fool" - Ricky Nelson 

"A Big Hunk O' Love" - Elvis Presley 

"I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday" - Fats Domino 

"The Battle of New Orleans" - Johnny Horton 

"Put Your Head on My Shoulder" - Paul Anka 

"High School Confidential" - Jerry Lee Lewis 


"Venus" - Frankie Avalon 

"16 Candles" - Johnny Maestro 

"Stagger Lee"  - Lloyd Price 

"There Goes My Baby" - The Drifters 

"I'm Ready" - Fats Domino 

"Love Potion No.9" - Clovers

"Poison Ivy" - The Coasters 

"School Day" - Chuck Berry 

"Sh-Boom" - The Chords 

*"Kaw-Liga" - Hank Williams

*This song is one of my personal favourite songs of all time and definitely my favourite song by Hank Williams. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 


"My Song" - Johnny Ace

"Lawdy Miss Clawdy" - Lloyd Price 

"Three O'Clock Blues" - BB King 

"All the Way" - Frank Sinatra 

"Cold, Cold Heart" - Hank Williams 

"Tennessee Waltz" - Patti Page 

"Too Much" - Elvis Presley 

"Band of Gold" - Don Cherry 

"Tears on My Pillow" - Little Anthony 

"Unforgettable" - Nat King Cole


"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" - Elvis Presley 

"Chances Are" - Johnny Mathis 

"It's Late" - Ricky Nelson 

"Walking After Midnight" - Patsy Cline 

"Good Rockin' Tonight" - Elvis Presley 

"I'm a Man" - Bo Diddley 

"The Wallflower" - Etta James 

"Back in the USA" - Chuck Berry 

"Whole Lotta Lovin'" - Fats Domino 

"One Night" - Elvis Presley


"Drown in My Own Tears" - Ray Charles 

"Tutti Frutti" - Elvis Presley 

"Get a Job" - Silhouettes

"Crying in the Chapel" - Sonny Til and the Orioles 

"Blue Monday" - Fats Domino 

"I Got a Woman" - Elvis Presley 

"When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again" - Elvis Presley 

"Speedoo" - The Cadillacs 

"Keep a-Knockin'" - Little Richard 

"I'm Walkin'" - Fats Domino


"Sweet Little Sixteen" - Chuck Berry 

"Be-Bop-a-Lula" - Gene Vincent 

"Shake, Rattle, and Roll" - Joe Turner 

"What'd I Say" - Ray Charles 

"Don't" - Elvis Presley 

"Blue Suede Shoes" - Carl Perkins 

"It'll Be Me" - Jerry Lee Lewis 

"Rumble Boogie" - Don Cherry 

"Anastasia" - Pat Boone 

"Train to Nowhere" - The Champs 


"Summertime" - Sam Cooke 

"Boston Fancy" - Gisele Mckenzie 

"The Great Pretender" - The Platters

"Memories are Made of These" - Dean Martin 

"Only You" - The Platters

"Whatever Will Be, Will Be" - Doris Day 

*"Love Me" - Elvis Presley

"All Shook Up" - Elvis Presley 

"Singin' the Blues" - Guy Mitchell 

"Love Me" - Buddy Holly 

*One of my favourite Elvis songs by a mile, this one is absolutely brilliant and so underrated. It appears on his second studio album as the first track if you would like to listen to it. The album is literally called Elvis.


"I Can Dream, Can't I?" - The Andrews Sisters

"Learnin' the Blues" - Frank Sinatra 

"Raining in My Heart" - Buddy Holly 

*"Modern Don Juan" - Buddy Holly

"Love Letters in the Sand" - Pat Boone 

"Autumn Leaves" - Roger Williams 

"Shake, Rattle, and Roll" - Bill Haley and the Comets

"I've Got the World on a String" - Frank Sinatra 

"Louisiana Blues" - Muddy Waters 

"I Wanna Be Loved" - The Andrews Sisters

*It's not a popular Buddy Holly song, but you need to hear it anyway. I wrote about it in my article "BD Music Presents: Buddy Holly" in my essential albums. It really is a great song. 


"I Loves You Porgy" - Nina Simone 

"Almost Grown" - Chuck Berry 

"Soul on Fire" - LaVern Baker 

"Baby, Let's Play House" - Elvis Presley 

"Pledging My Love" - Johnny Ace

*"Brown-Eyed Handsome Man" - Buddy Holly 

"Lucille" - Little Richard

"Sincerely" - Moonglows 

"Mystery Train" - Elvis Presley 

"Hey Good Lookin'" - Hank Williams 

*My personal favourite Buddy Holly song. It's a brilliant version and I absolutely love it. This, along with one other we'll see in this list will make up my favourite Buddy Holly songs ever. I can tell that you already see how obsessed I am with Buddy and Elvis. *laughs uncomfortably*


"Night and Day" - Frank Sinatra

"Rollin' Stone" - Muddy Waters 

"Long Gone Lonesome Blues" - Hank Williams 

"Teardrops from My Eyes" - Ruth Brown 

"Fine and Mellow" - Billie Holiday 

"My Funny Valentine" - Frank Sinatra 

"(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" - Elvis Presley 

"Mona Lisa" - Nat King Cole 

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" - The Platters

"I'll Be Seeing You" - Billie Holiday 


"Let's Do It" - Ella Fitzgerald 

"Listen to Me" - Buddy Holly 

"Dream Lover" - Bobby Darin 

"All I Do is Dream of You" - Frank Sinatra 

"Body and Soul" - Billie Holiday 

"It's So Easy" - Buddy Holly 

"Chantilly Lace" - The Big Bopper 

"Tequila" - The Champs 

"In The Mood" - Glenn Miller 

*"Love Me Tender" - Elvis Presley 

*Fun Fact: It was my parents' wedding song. 


"Rock Around the Clock" - Billy Haley and the Comets

"That's Amore" - Dean Martin 

"Smokestack Lightnin'" - Howlin' Wolf 

"Come Fly With Me" - Frank Sinatra

"Your Cheatin' Heart" - Hank Williams 

"I Put a Spell on You" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins 

"Let's Have a Party" - Wanda Jackson 

"Who Do You Love?" - Bo Diddley 

"Why Do Fools Fall in Love" - Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers 

"I've Got You Under My Skin" - Frank Sinatra


"Maybellene" - Chuck Berry 

"White Lightning" - The Big Bopper 

"My Baby Just Cares For Me" - Nina Simone 

"All I Have to Do is Dream" - The Everly Brothers 

"Oh Boy" - Buddy Holly 

"Treat Me Nice" - Elvis Presley 

"Heartbreak Hotel" - Elvis Presley 

"Everyday" - Buddy Holly 

"That'll Be the Day" - Buddy Holly 

"In a Turkish Town" - Ritchie Valens


"Blue Moon of Kentucky" - Elvis Presley 

"Little Girl Blue" - Nina Simone

"Stormy Girl Blues" - Billie Holiday 

"Don't Explain" - Billie Holiday 

"Mean Woman Blues" - Elvis Presley 

"It Might as Well be Spring" - Nina Simone

"Don't Smoke in Bed" - Nina Simone 

"Paralysed" - Elvis Presley 

"Please Don't Do It Here" - Billie Holiday 

"Wake Up Little Susie" - The Everly Brothers 

(The variety, my God!)


"Midnight Shift" - Buddy Holly

"Rip it Up" - Elvis Presley 

"Blue Suede Shoes" - Elvis Presley

"I Wonder Why" - Dion and the Belmonts

"What a Little Moonlight Can Do" - Billie Holiday 

"C'Mon Everybody" - Eddie Cochran 

"Hard Headed Woman" - Elvis Presley 

"Ooh, My Head" - Ritchie Valens 

"Rock Around with Ollie Vee" - Buddy Holly 

"Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" - Jerry Lee Lewis


"Dixieland Rock" - Elvis Presley 

"Folsom Prison Blues" - Johnny Cash 

"Blueberry Hill" - Fats Domino 

"You Send Me" - Sam Cooke 

"Book of Love" - Johnny Maestro 

"One Night" - Elvis Presley 

"Rave On" - Buddy Holly

"Why Don't You Love Me?" - Hank Williams 

"Rip it Up" - Bill Haley and the Comets 

"Rip it Up" - Little Richard 

(Yes, it's the same as the Elvis song on this list as well, all three musicians did it and all three are incredible.)


"Hound Dog" - Elvis Presley 

"Maybe Baby" - Buddy Holly 

"Willie and the Hand Jive" - Johnny Otis 

"Bluebirds Over the Mountains" - Ritchie Valens 

"(Now and Then) There's a Fool Such as I" - Elvis Presley 

"It Doesn't Matter Anymore" - Buddy Holly 

"Mack the Knife" - Bobby Darin 

"Cry, Cry, Cry" - Johnny Cash 

"Teenager in Love" - Dion and the Belmonts 

"Shout" - The Isley Brothers


"Not Fade Away" - Buddy Holly 

"Tutti Frutti" - Little Richard 

"So Glad You're Mine" - Elvis Presley 

"Tweedle Dee" - LaVern Baker 

"Donna" - Ritchie Valens 

"I Walk the Line" - Johnny Cash 

"Flip, Flop and Fly" - Joe Turner and his Blues Kings 

"Smokey Joe's Cafe" - The Robins 

"See You Later, Alligator" - Bill Haley and the Comets 

"I Hear You Knockin'" - Smiley Lewis 


"Don't Be Cruel" - Elvis Presley 

"Jim Dandy" - LaVern Baker 

*"Summertime" - Billie Holiday 

"Thirty Days" - Chuck Berry 

"I Got a Woman" - Ray Charles

"Ain't That a Shame" - Fats Domino 

"At the Hop" - Danny and the Juniors 

"Splish Splash" - Bobby Darin 

"Good Golly Miss Molly" - Little Richard

"Johnny Be Goode" - Chuck Berry

*This is my favourite Billie Holiday song ever. I think you've noticed that she's my favourite female singer in the world and she's incredible. This song is incredibly underrated so if you would listen to it that would be amazing.


"Bony Maronie" - Larry Williams 

"Unchained Melody" - Roy Hamilton 

*"Mannish Boy" - Muddy Waters

"Bo Diddley" - Bo Diddley 

"Peggy Sue" - Buddy Holly 

"Summertime Blues" - Eddie Cochran 

"Great Balls of Fire" - Jerry Lee Lewis 

"Please Please Please" - James Brown 

"Fever" - Peggy Lee

"Come on, Let's Go" - Ritchie Valens 

*Listen to this song and then listen to Early Roman Kings by Bob Dylan. You can laugh now. 


*"I'm Gonna Love You Too" - Buddy Holly 

"Twenty Flight Rock" - Eddie Cochran

"Long Tall Sally" - Little Richard 

"Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie" - Bill Haley and the Comets 

"Roll With Me Henry" - LaVern Baker 

"Mr. Sandman" - The Chordettes

"Earth Angel" - The Penguins 

"Lady Sings the Blues" - Billie Holiday 

"Roll Over Beethoven" - Chuck Berry

"Jailhouse Rock" - Elvis Presley 

*If you've made it this far and remember when I was talking about Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, then this is the other song. 


I hope you've had fun reading this playlist and I hope you'll listen to at least some of these, if not all of them. I really do love songs from the 50s and 60s. I'll probably make a 60s one as well but that's gonna be super long because there's a ton of songs there! I want to make a Part 2 to this one, that's why it's named Part 1, but I don't want to overwhelm people with the sheer number of songs there is. Oh well, I'll do it and see where it takes us. 

I hope you've had fun reading this list and get into some 1950s music because of it. I hope to make another and maybe, if you come to my twitter (handle's in the intro) we can be friends. 

Thank you for reading.

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