As I shared last year, I am achild of the 60’s kind of music“American Bandstand” was a Saturday standard in our home and a major way I was exposed to “new” music. With more boomers retiring, those in eldercare should brush up on songs from the 1960s.

English: Music Store History 1960-1980

English: Music Store History 1960-1980 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a variety of music styles during the period. For the purposes of this post, I’ve lumped them into: British Invasion, Motown, Rock/Pop, Country, Elvis, and Folk. I’ve add on a few others at the end including a “peace” resource.

British Invasion of the 1960s

When people think about groups from the 1960’s, the British Invasion comes to mind: The Animals, The Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, Rolling Stones, etc.

The Beatles had many memorable hits during the 1960’s including:

  • I Want To Hold Your Hand
  • Can’t Buy Me Love
  • She Loves You
  • A Hard Day’s Night
  • Yesterday
  • Help!
  • We Can Work It Out
  • Hey Jude
  • Come Together

The Rolling Stones have rolled through time. Their 1960’s hit include:

  • (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  • Get Off A My Cloud
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Gimme Shelter

Other British group hits from the 1960’s are:

  • House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
  • It’s My Life – The Animals
  • We’re the Monkees – The Monkees
  • Take the Last Train to Clarksville – The Monkees
  • Whole Lotta Love – Led Zepplin
  • My Generation – The Who

Motown songs of the 1960s

Motown Records was the R & B outlet with these being some of their 1960’s hits:

  • Tossing and Turning – Bobby Lewis
  • Blue Moon – Marcels
  • Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
  • He’s So Fine – The Chiffons
  • Baby Love – The Supremes
  • Going to the Chapel of Love – Dixie Cups
  • I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops
  • My Guy – Mary Wells
  • How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Marvin Gaye
  • Stop! In the Name of Love – The Supremes
  • For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder

Rock (and Pop) songs of the 1960s

Rock music came in many flavors from The Beach Boys to The Grateful Dead to Simon and Garfunkel.

  • Runaway – Del Shannon
  • The Lion Sleep Tonight – the Tokens
  • Runaround Sue – Dion
  • Breaking Up is Hard to Do – Neil Sedaka
  • Big Girls Don’t Cry – The Four Seasons
  • Sherry – The Four Seasons
  • My Boyfriend’s Back – The Angels
  • Surf City – Jan & Dean
  • It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I want To – Lesley Gore
  • Oh Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  • All Along The Watchtower – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • Light My Fire – The Doors
  • Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan

Folksongs from the 1960s

  • Both Sides Now – Judy Collins
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)
  • Lemon Tree – Trini Lopez
  • Leavin’ On a Jet Plane
  • Alice’s Restaurant – Arlo Guthrie
  • Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds
  • California Dreaming – The Mamas and the Papas
  • The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
  • If I Had a Hammer – Trini Lopez
  • We’ll Sing in the Sunshine – Marvin Garnet
  • Don’t Let the Rain Come Down – The Serendipity Singers
  • If I Were a Carpenter – Bobby Darren

Elvis songs from the 1960s

  • Are you Lonesome Tonight
  • It’s Now or Never
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love
  • Viva Las Vegas
  • Crying I the Chapel
  • In the Ghetto

Country songs from the 1960s

  • I’m Sorry – Brenda Lee
  • El Paso – Marty Robbins
  • Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool – Connie Francis
  • Big John – Jimmy Dean
  • Travlin’ Man – Ricky Nelson
  • Roses are Red (My Love) – Bobby Vinton
  • Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton
  • Wings of a Dove – Ferlin Husky
  • King of the Road – Roger Miller
  • Okie from Muskogee – Merle Haggard
  • Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley
  • Make the World Go Away – Ray Price
  • Dang Me – Roger Miller
  • Galveston – Glen Campbell

Other favorites from the 1960s:

  • The Twist – Chubby Checkers
  • Itsy Bitsy Teenie  Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Brian Hyland
  • Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett

Be sure and check out Smithsonian Folkways collection of Peace songs from the 1960’s.

There was so much great music during the 1960’s, I’m sure not everyone’s favorites made the list so share your favorite 1960’s hit in the comments below.

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