The Best 1950s Road Trip Playlist for 2020
Little Richard? Check. Nat King Cole? Yep. Elvis? Of course. Check out our playlist from the 1950s that will keep you driving and awake for hours.
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UPDATED: Apr 23, 2020
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- Jazz music was wildly popular in the 1950s
- Swing dancing and big bands are characteristic of this era
- The classic hits of what many believed to be America’s “golden age” are great, upbeat melodies to bring along on your next road trip
You might be ready to hit the road, but are you ready for a blast from the past? You don’t need a Delorean to go back in time with our 1950s road trip playlist.
We’ve gathered tracks from the top artists of the decade to bring you a perfect blend of the 50s swing bands and jazz crooners.
Whether you’re looking to relive the good old days as you embrace your retirement or just delving into the glory days of music’s past for some new tunes and inspiration, these songs are great for tuning into history and getting a feel for what life was like in the midst of the American Dream.
Road Trip Essentials: It’s Not Just Music and a Map
We’re sure you’ve done your homework and triple-checked your bags for everything you’ll need to make this next road trip great. But have you checked your car insurance?
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The Best 50’s Road Trip Songs
2. Shake, Rattle And Roll – Bill Haley & His Comets
3. Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins
4. (We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets
5. Long Tall Sally – Little Richard
6. Why Do Fools Fall In Love – Frankie Lymon, die Teenagers
A question that still begs answer today. Many people may credit this song to Diana Ross, whose 1981 hit was riding high on global music charts worldwide.
However, the original creators were the NYC-based group who also enjoyed some chart success; “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” was #6 on Billboard’s Top Singles and #1 on the UK Top Singles chart in July
7. You Send Me – Sam Cooke
8. I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash
9. Hound Dog – Elvis Presley
10. I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Frank Sinatra
11. I’ve Got a Woman – Ray Charles
12. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard
Little Richard’s 1957 smash hit was his first major record and landed him a place in Mojo magazine’s “The Top 100 Records That Changed The World”.
You may not think that rock music sounds much like Little Richard’s tracks today, but this song (which translates to “all fruits” in Italian) introduced many of the genre’s most prominent characteristics.
13. All Shook Up – Elvis Presley
14. Memories Are Made of This – Dean Martin
15. Come Prima – Marino Marini
16. Butterfly – Andy Williams
17. When I Fall In Love – Nat King Cole
18. La Bamba – Ritchie Valens
“La Bamba” was adopted from a Mexican wedding song by Ritchie Valen’s in 1958, and his rendition earned him a Grammy nomination and stands as the only non-English song on Rolling Stone’s magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”
19. Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers
20. Goodnite, It’s Time to Go – The Spaniels
21. See You Later, Alligator – Bill Haley & His Comets
22. Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Williams
23. King Creole – Elvis Presley
24. Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly
25. Little Darlin’ – The Diamonds
26. Shouts, Pts. 1 & 2 – The Isley Brothers
A much more positive and energizing way to let out road rage.
27. Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters
28. Good Golly Miss Molly – Little Richard
29. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
30. Dream Lover – Bobby Darin
31. Remember You’re Mine – Pat Boone
32. That’s Amore – Dean Martin
33. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear – Elvis Presley
Although he never toured overseas, this track is one of many top hits that Presley fans around the world still enjoy today.
34. Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers
35. Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
36. Be-Bop-A-Lula – Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps
37. Magic Moments – Perry Como
38. Party Doll – Buddy Knox
39. Witch Doctor – David Seville
The voice you hear in the catchy, comedic “Witch Doctor” is actually by the creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Sr.. Under the stage name David Seville, he released this catchy, comedic track in 1958. The voice of the witch doctor is actually his own sped up double speed, which was later used again to created Alvin and the Chipmunks.
40. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
41. Book of Love – The Mudlarks
42. Banana Boat (Day-O) – Harry Bellafonte
43. Buleberry Hill – Fats Domino
44. C’Mon Everybody – Eddie Cochran
45. Fever – Peggy Lee
46. Red River Rock – Johnny & The Hurricanes
47. Mona Lisa – Nat King Cole
48. Rocket 88 – Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
49. Rags to Riches – Tony Bennett
50. Slow Poke – Pee Wee King
51. The Twist – Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
52. Come Go With Me – The Del-Vikings
53. Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On – Jerry Lee Lewis
54. Rave On – Buddy Holly
55. Tequila – The Champs
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