Music Lists Are Us: Favorite '50's Albums by Year with brief comments


My Favorite '50s Albums, by year, with brief comments


Kind of Blue by Miles Davis (the best-selling jazz album of all time)

What'd I Say? by Ray Charles (the title track was his concert closer for years; it was originally improvised to fill time)

Time Out by The Dave Brubeck Quartet (Take Five was a surprise hit by Paul Desmond & #1 selling jazz single ever)

The George and Ira Gershwin Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald (The name Ella Fitzgerald is a mark of quality--I don't think she ever made a bad album)

The Genius of Ray Charles by Ray Charles

Giant Steps by John Coltrane

The Buddy Holly Story by Buddy Holly

The Shape of Jazz to Come by Ornette Coleman

Everybody Digs Bill Evans by Bill Evans

The George & Ira Gershwin Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald

Lightnin' Hopkins by Lightnin' Hopkins

Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus

Blind Joe Death by John Fahey

Every Day I Have the Blues by Joe Williams

Ritchie Valens by Ritchie Valens

Moanin' by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

What a Difference a Day Makes by Dinah Washington


Lady Satin by Billie Holiday

Milestones by Miles Davis

Little Richard by Little Richard

Indigos by Duke Ellington

Everly Brothers by The Everly Brothers

Misterioso by Thelonious Monk

Chet by Chet Baker

Dance Mania by Tito Puente

Soultrain by John Coltrane

Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra

Sam Cooke by Sam Cooke

Sleep-Time Songs & Stories by Pete Seeger 

Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley

Something Else!!!! by Ornette Coleman (Ornette's music still sounds modern 53 years later)

One Dozen Berries by Chuck Berry


'Round About Midnight by Miles Davis

Here's Little Richard by Little Richard 

Brilliant Corners by Thelonious Monk

After Midnight by Nat King Cole

Soulville by Ben Webster

Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar by Johnny Cash

Thelonious Himself by Thelonious Monk

The Beat of My Heart by Tony Bennett

The Clown by Charles Mingus

West Side Story (original Broadway cast) by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim

Stormy Weather by Lena Horne

April in Paris by Count Basie

Blossom Dearie by Blossom Dearie

Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues by Odetta


Elvis Presley by Elvis Presley

Duke Ellington Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald

Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday

At Newport by Duke Ellington

The Cole Porter Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald

Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins

My Fair Lady (Broadway Cast) by Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison et al

Rogers and Hart Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald

Elvis by Elvis Presley

Pithecanthropus Erectus by Charles Mingus

Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino by Fats Domino

The Toshiko Trio by Toshiko Akiyoshi

Calypso by Harry Belafonte


Study in Brown by Clifford Brown and Max Roach

Starring Sammy Davis by Sammy Davis Jr.

Dinah Jams by Dinah Washington

Les and Mary by Les Paul and Mary Ford

Satch Plays Fats by Louis Armstrong

Chet Baker Sings and Plays by Chet Baker

Clifford Brown With Strings by Clifford Brown


Swing Easy by Frank Sinatra

Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy by Louis Armstrong

After Hours With Miss "D" by Dinah Washington

Something Cool by June Christy

A Night at Birdland 1,2 and 3 by The Art Blakey Quintet

Songs for Young Lovers by Frank Sinatra


Stringin' Along With Chet Atkins by Chet Atkins

Jazz at Massey Hall by The Quintet (Gillespie, Parker, Mingus, Roach & Powell)

Memorial Album by Hank Williams

New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm by Stan Kenton


Bird and Diz by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie

Moanin' the Blues by Hank William's

Penthouse Serenade by Nat King Cole

Anthology of American Folk Music by Various Artists, compiled by Harry Smith


City of Glass performed by Stan Kenton, composition by Bob Graettinger

Folk Song Favorites by Patti Page


Birth of the Cool by Miles Davis

Ella Sings Gershwin by Ella Fitzgerald

Charlie Parker with Strings by Charlie Parker

Level 39
Aug 12, 2021
thx for listening to my advice
Level 62
Aug 13, 2021
I'm glad you like it, but the main difference is that there was a lot more music recorded in the fifties, thus a longer list.
Level 73
Sep 2, 2021
No Yakety Yak? :(
Level 62
Sep 3, 2021
I like The Coasters' song Down in Mexico, and Charlie Brown and YacketyYak are both fine, but this is a list of albums, and none of the Coasters' '50s compilation albums quite make my cut
Level 41
Jul 1, 2022
That's Cathy's Clown, that's Cathy's Cloowwnn - thanks for including the Everly Brothers!