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

Come Dance With Me by Frank Sinatra

Book of Ballads by Carmen McRae

The Wes Montgomery Trio by The Wes Montgomery Trio

The Shape of Jazz to Come by Ornette Coleman

What a Difference a Day Makes by Dinah Washington

Everybody Digs Bill Evans by Bill Evans

Moanin' by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Get Happy by Ella Fitzgerald

Look to Your Heart by Frank Sinatra

Bags and Trane by Milt Jackson & John Coltrane

Autumn Song by Mose Allison

Chega de Saudade by Joao Gilberto

The Jazz Soul of Oscar Peterson by Oscar Peterson

Cool Heat by Anita O'Day

T-Bone Blues by T-Bone Walker

Songs of Our Soil by Johnny Cash

Abbey is Blue by Abbey Lincoln

Portrait in Jazz by the Bill Evans Trio

Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus

The Buddy Holly Story by Buddy Holly

When You're Away by Carmen McRae

Chet by Chet Baker

Lightnin' Hopkins by Lightnin' Hopkins

Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

Music from 'Odds Against Tomorrow' (film soundtrack) composed by John Lewis and performed by the Modern Jazz Quartet

Once Upon a Summertime by Blossom Dearie

Sonny Stitt Sits In With the Oscar Peterson Trio by The Oscar Peterson Trio with Sonny Stitt

Blind Joe Death by John Fahey

Every Day I Have the Blues by Joe Williams

Pres and Teddy by Lester Young and the Teddy Wilson Quintet

What is There to Say by Gerry Mulligan

A Good Git-Together by Jon Hendricks

Gospel Truth by Sister Rosetta Tharp

Songs for Rounders by Hank Thompson

Have Tenor Sax, Will Blow by King Curtis

The One and Only Lefty Frizzell by Lefty Frizzell

Beauty and the Beat by Peggy Lee and George Shearing

Lester Flatt and Earl Struggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys by Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys

At the Gates of Horn by Memphis Slim

After Dark by Kitty Wells

Ritchie Valens by Ritchie Valens

Satan is Real by the Louvin Brothers


Lady in Satin by Billie Holiday

Milestones by Miles Davis

Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra

Little Richard by Little Richard

Misterioso by Thelonious Monk

Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald

Chet by Chet Baker

Freedom Suite by Sonny Rollins

Ascenseur pour l'echafaud by Miles Davis (a film soundtrack)

Dance Mania by Tito Puente

It's Magic by Abbey Lincoln

Jerry Lee Lewis by Jerry Lee Lewis

Soultrain by John Coltrane

The Fabulous Johnny Cash by Johnny Cash

For Musicians Only by Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz and Sonny Stitt

Sam Cooke by Sam Cooke

John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio by John Coltrane and the Red Garland Trio

Give Him the Ooh-La-La by Blossom Dearie

Reunion with Chet Baker by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker

Folk Songs and Instrumentals with Guitar by Elizabeth Cotten

Buddy Holly by Buddy Holly

Out There by Betty Carter

Barrel House Piano by Meade Lux Lewis

Sleep-Time Songs & Stories by Pete Seeger 

Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley

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

Everly Brothers by The Everly Brothers

No Count Sarah by Sarah Vaughan

Imagination by Billy Eckstine

One Dozen Berries by Chuck Berry

Country Music by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys

Anita O'Day Sings the Winners by Anita O'Day

Indigos by Duke Ellington

Lonely Street by Kitty Wells


Birth of the Cool by Miles Davis

'Round About Midnight by Miles Davis

The Duke Ellington Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington

Ray Charles by Ray Charles

A Swingin' Affair by Frank Sinatra

Miles Ahead by Miles Davis

Here's Little Richard by Little Richard 

Brilliant Corners by Thelonious Monk

Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins

Ella and Louis Again by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow by Tal Farlow

Strictly Powell by Bud Powell

Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section by Art Pepper, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones and Red Garland

After Midnight by Nat King Cole

Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet

The "Chirping" Crickets by Buddy Holly and the Crickets

Such Sweet Thunder by Duke Ellington

Jazz Guitar by Jim Hall

Plenty, Plenty Soul by Milt Jackson

Blue Train by John Coltrane

Brookmeyer by Bob Brookmeyer

After Glow by Carmen McRae

Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane by Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane

Hi-Fi in Focus by Chet Atkins

Count Basie at Newport by Count Basie

Love is the Thing by Nat King Cole

Trane's Blues by John Coltrane

Dinah Washington Sings Fats Waller by Dinah Washington

Where Are You by Frank Sinatra

Soulville by Ben Webster

Anita Sings the Most by Anita O'Day

Way Out West by Sonny Rollins

Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar by Johnny Cash

Monk's Music by Thelonious Monk

John Coltrane by John Coltrane

Like Someone in Love by Ella Fitzgerald

Thelonious Himself by Thelonious Monk

Close to You by Frank Sinatra

Cuban Jam Session in Miniature by Cachao

Sophisticated Swing by Cannonball Adderley

Boy Meets Girl by Sammy Davis Jr. & Carmen McRae

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

That's Him! By Abbey Lincoln

The Clown by Charles Mingus

Stormy Weather by Lena Horne

The Poll Winners by Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne

Blossom Dearie by Blossom Dearie

April in Paris by Count Basie

Back Country Suite by Mose Allison

An Evening with Belafonte by Harry Belafonte

The Great Ray Charles by Ray Charles

Dream Street by Peggy Lee

Dedicated to You by the "5" Royales

Tony by Tony Bennett

The Many Sides of Toshiko by Toshiko Akiyoshi

Swingin' Easy by Sarah Vaughan

I Love John Frigo...He Swings by John Frigo

Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims by Jutta Hipp & Zoot Sims

Mating Call by Tadd Dameron and John Coltrane

Double Play! By Russ Freeman and Andre Previn

At the Gate of Horn by Odetta

Tenor Conclave by John Coltrane, Zoot Sims, Hank Mobley and Al Cohn

Chet Atkins at Home by Chet Atkins


Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday

Songs for Swingin' Lovers by Frank Sinatra

The Cole Porter Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald

Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins

At Newport by Duke Ellington

Ella and Louis by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Monk by Thelonious Monk

Fontessa by the Modern Jazz Quartet

The Lark in the Morning by Liam Clancy, Tommy Makem and friends

The Unique Thelonious Monk by Thelonious Monk

Work Time by Sonny Rollins

Blue Moon by Carmen McRae

Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings by Count Basie and Joe Williams

Tal by Tal Farlow

The Jazz Messengers by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Elvis Presley by Elvis Presley

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

The Rodgers and Hart Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald

Tragic Songs of Life by the Louvin Brothers

Django by the Modern Jazz Quartet

Velvet Mood by Billie Holiday

Miles by the New Miles Davis Quintet

Lennie Tristano by Lennie Tristano

The Misty Miss Christy by June Christy

Tenor Madness by Sonny Rollins

Dinah! By Dinah Washington

Songs to Grow On for Mother and Child by Woody Guthrie

Torchy by Carmen McRae

At Basin Street by Clifford Brown and Max Roach

This Is Fats Domino by Fats Domino

In the Land of Hi-Fi by Dinah Washington

The Teenagers featuring Frankie Lymon by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers

Elvis by Elvis Presley

Pithecanthropus Erectus by Charles Mingus

Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues by Odetta

Finger-Style Guitar by Chet Atkins

Max Roach + 4 by Max Roach (with Ray Bryant, Sonny Rollins, etc.)

Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino by Fats Domino

Mal 1 by Mal Waldron

Pick Yourself Up with Anita O'Day

Introducing Kenny Burrell by Kenny Burrell

The Merle Travis Guitar by Merle Travis

The Toshiko Trio by Toshiko Akiyoshi

I Got Rhythm by Teddy Wilson

Songs of the Brazos Valley by Hank Thompson

Gospel Train by Sister Rosetta Tharp

Calypso by Harry Belafonte

The Boss of the Blues by Big Joe Turner

Chris Conner by Chris Conner

A New Sound...A New Star: Jimmy Smith at the Organ, Vol. 1 and 2 by Jimmy Smith

Three Ragas by Ravi Shankar

At the Hickory House Volumes 1 and 2 by Jutta Hipp

The Wildest! By Louis Prima

Songs from the Heart by Johnny Hartman

Winner of Your Heart by Kitty Wells


Study in Brown by Clifford Brown and Max Roach

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning by Frank Sinatra

Billie Holiday by Billie Holiday

Concert by the Sea by Erroll Garner

Satch Plays Fats by Louis Armstrong

Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington by Thelonious Monk

Blue Moods by Miles Davis (with Charles Mingus, Elvin Jones, etc.)

Lullabies of Birdland by Ella Fitzgerald

Pres and Sweets by Lester Young and Harry Edison

Chet Baker Sings and Plays by Chet Baker

Clifford Brown with Strings by Clifford Brown

Music for Torching by Billie Holiday

In a Romantic Mood by Oscar Peterson

Sweet and Hot by Ella Fitzgerald

Duet by June Christy and Stan Kenton

The Musings of Miles by Miles Davis

Meet Betty Carter and Ray Bryant by Betty Carter and Ray Bryant

Oklahoma (film soundtrack) written by Rodgers and Hammerstein

Sarah Vaughan (aka Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown) by Sarah Vaughan and Clifford Brown

The Prophetic Herbie Nichols, vol. 1 by Herbie Nichols

Buddy and Sweets by Buddy Rich and Sweets Edison

Frank Morgan by Frank Morgan

For Those in Love by Dinah Washington

Chamber Music of the New Jazz by Ahmad Jamal

Starring Sammy Davis by Sammy Davis Jr.

Dinah Jams by Dinah Washington

Les and Mary by Les Paul and Mary Ford

Boogie Woogie Piano and Drums by Meade Lux Lewis and Louie Bellson


Chet Baker Sings by Chet Baker

Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy by Louis Armstrong

Swing Easy by Frank Sinatra

Songs in a Mellow Mood by Ella Fitzgerald

Billie Holiday at JATP (Jazz at the Philharmonic) by Billie Holiday

Jazz Goes to College by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

Billie Holiday by Billie Holiday

The Lionel Hampton Quintet by The Lionel Hampton Quintet

After Hours With Miss "D" by Dinah Washington

The Consumate Artistry of Ben Webster by Ben Webster

Something Cool by June Christy

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

Toshiko at Mocambo by Toshiko Akiyoshi

Classics in Jazz by T-Bone Walker

The Chet Baker Quartet featuring Russ Freeman by The Chet Baker Quartet and Russ Freeman

The Tin Angel by Odetta and Larry

Songs for Young Lovers by Frank Sinatra

Toshiko's Piano by Toshiko Akiyoshi


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

The Astaire Story by Fred Astaire (with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Barney Kessel, et al)

Thelonious by Thelonious Monk

An Evening with Billie Holiday by Billie Holiday

Memorial Album by Hank Williams

Young Man with a Horn by Miles Davis

Black Coffee by Peggy Lee

The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet by The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet

New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm by Stan Kenton

The Duke Plays Ellington by Duke Ellington

Stringin' Along with Chet Atkins by Chet Atkins

Cool and Crazy by Shorty Rogers

Anita O'Day Collates by Anita O'Day


Bird and Diz by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie

Billie Holiday Sings by Billie Holiday

Moanin' the Blues by Hank William's

New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm by Stan Kenton

Oscar Peterson Plays Duke Ellington by Oscar Peterson

Penthouse Serenade by Nat King Cole

Gerry Mulligan Quartet, vol. 1 by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet

Boogie Woogie Classics by Meade Lux Lewis

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


Satchmo at Pasadena by Louis Armstrong

The New Sounds by Miles Davis

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

Les Paul's New Sound with Mary Ford by Les Paul and Mary Ford

Songs of Jimmie Rodgers by Lefty Frizzell

Blessed Assurance by Sister Rosetta Tharp

Historically Speaking by Gerry Mulligan

Folk Song Favorites by Patti Page


Ella Sings Gershwin by Ella Fitzgerald

Charlie Parker with Strings by Charlie Parker

Sing and Dance with Frank Sinatra by Frank Sinatra

Sarah Vaughan by Sarah Vaughan

Nat King Cole at the Piano by Nat King Cole

Young Man with a Horn by Harry James & Doris Day

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 74
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 40
Jul 1, 2022
That's Cathy's Clown, that's Cathy's Cloowwnn - thanks for including the Everly Brothers!