Music Lists Are Us: Favorite '50s Songs by year with brief comments

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Favorite '50s songs, by year, with comments

1959

Take Five by The Dave Brubeck Quartet (written by the saxophonist, Paul Desmond; it was a surprise hit in 1961-becoming the first jazz single to surpass one million in sales)

Dedicated to the One I Love by The Shirelles

What'd I Say by Ray Charles

I Only Have Eyes for You by The Flamingos

Gotta Lot of Rhythm in My Soul by Patsy Cline

What a Difference a Day Makes by Dinah Washington

A Fool Such as I by Elvis Presley

Naima by John Coltrane

Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin

Afro Blue by Abbey Lincoln

The Three Bells (aka Jimmy Brown) by The Browns

Only Sixteen by Sam Cooke

Lipstick on Your Collar by Connie Francis

Personality by Lloyd Price

Since I Don't Have You by The Skyliners

Sea of Love by Phil Phillips

It's Late by Ricky Nelson

Summertime by Miles Davis (written by George Gershwin for Porgy and Bess)

I'm Gonna Be a Wheel by Fats Domino

Poison Ivy by The Coasters

High Hopes by Frank Sinatra

Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison

Lucky to Be Me by Bill Evans

Love Potion Number 9 by The Clovers

Chelsea Bridge by Ben Webster

Til I Kissed You by The Everly Brothers

Goody Goody by Ella Fitzgerald

Night Time is the Right Time by Ray Charles

A Big Hunk O' Love by Elvis Presley

So What by Miles Davis

The Lonesome Road by Lorrie and Larry Collins (aka The Collins Kids)

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by Charles Mingus

Louise by Lester Young & the Teddy Wilson Quartet

Running Bear by Johnny Preston

Misty by Johnny Mathis

La Rosita by Coleman Hawkins & Ben Webster

Put Your Head on My Shoulder by Paul Anka

Let the Good Times Roll by Ray Charles

Blue Rondo a la Turk by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Go to the Mardi Gras by Professor Longhair (aka Roeland "Roy" Byrd)

Fast Freight by Ritchie Valens (an original instrumental)

But Not for Me by Ella Fitzgerald

Sleepwalk by Santo & Johnny

Peace Piece by Bill Evans

Charlie Brown by The Coasters

Dooby Dooby Wah by Ritchie Valens

Lonely Guitar by Annette Funicello


1958

Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry

La Bamba by Ritchie Valens

I Can't Help It by Betty Carter

Fever by Peggy Lee

Lonely Teardrops by Jackie Wilson

You've Changed by Billie Holiday

All I Have to Do is Dream by The Everly Brothers

The Book of Love by The Monotones

Four by Anita O'Day

I Got Stung by Elvis Presley

Do You Want to Dance by Bobby Freeman

Fallin' by Connie Francis

Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis

This Little Girl's Gone Rockin' by Ruth Brown

Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra

Tears on My Pillow by Little Anthony & The Imperials

Mercy by The Collins Kids (Lorrie & Larry Collins)

Come On, Let's Go by Ritchie Valens

Stagger Lee by Lloyd Price

What Kind of Man Are You by Ray Charles

Lollipop by The Chordettes

I Wished on the Moon by Billie Holiday

Rebel-'Rouser by Duane Eddy

The Kid From Red Bank by Count Basie

One Night by Elvis Presley

Early Autumn by Anita O'Day

Rockhouse (parts 1 & 2) by Ray Charles

16 Candles by The Crests

Bewildered by Mickey & Sylvia

Maybe by The Chantels

Stupid Cupid by Connie Francis


1957

Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson

Walkin' After Midnight by Patsy Cline

The Midnight Sun by Ella Fitzgerald

That'll Be the Day by The Crickets (aka Buddy Holly & The Crickets)

You Send Me by Sam Cooke

When Sunny Gets Blue by June Christy

At the Hop by Danny & The Juniors

Soulville by Ben Webster

Mr. Lee by The Bobbettes

Send For Me by Nat King Cole

Bye Bye Love by The Everly Brothers

Now at Last by Blossom Dearie

Comes Love by Billie Holiday

Blue Monday by Fats Domino

Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On by Jerry Lee Lewis

Chant by Coleman Hawkins

Them There Eyes by Anita O'Day

Lucille by Little Richard

All the Way by Frank Sinatra

A New Love by Ruth Brown

All Shook Up by Elvis Presley

Little Bitty Pretty One by Thurston Harris (the original by Bobby Day also came out in 1957)

Everyday by Buddy Holly (aka Buddy Holly & The Crickets)

I Surrender, Dear by Thelonious Monk (solo piano)

That Train Has Gone by Chuck Willis

Full Moon by Peggy Lee

Dearest by Mickey & Sylvia

Hoy Hoy by The Collins Kids (Lorrie & Larry Collins)

Rock & Roll Music by Chuck Berry

No Other One by Connie Francis

Bony Maronie by Larry Williams

Wake Up Little Susie by The Everly Brothers

Come Go With Me by The Del-Vikings


1956

Down in Mexico by The Coasters

From This Moment On by Ella Fitzgerald

Drown in My Own Tears by Ray Charles

Que Sera Sera by Doris Day

My Blue Heaven by Fats Domino

Waltz for Debby by Bill Evans

Fever by Little Willie John

Don't Be Cruel by Elvis Presley

Sweet Baby of Mine by Ruth Brown

Mary Ann by Ray Charles

Tonight You Belong to Me by Patience & Prudence

Long Tall Sally by Little Richard

Jump, Jive and Wail by Louis Prima

Hey Baby by Rosemary Clooney & Duke Ellington

Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday

I Want You, I Need You, I Love You by Elvis Presley

Blues for Basie by Oscar Peterson

In the Still of the Night by The Five Satins

Jambalaya (On the Bayou) by Brenda Lee

From This Moment On by Ella Fitzgerald

I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash

It's Too Late by Chuck Willis

Salute to Shorty by Toshiko Akiyoshi

Mythe by Chet Baker

My Prayer by The Platters

Hallelujah I Love Her So by Ray Charles

Gigantic Blues by Lester Young

Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck Berry

Rockaway Rock by The Collins Kids (Lorrie & Larry Collins)

Why Do Fools Fall in Love by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers

Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley

Please, Please, Please by James Brown

That's All by June Christy

Still by LaVern Baker


1955

Great Pretender by The Platters

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning by Frank Sinatra

Speedo by The Cadillacs

The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry) by Etta James

A Fool for You by Ray Charles

Little Rock Getaway by Chet Atkins (guitar instrumental)

Ain't That a Shame by Fats Domino

Angel Eyes by Ella Fitzgerald

Hey Porter by Johnny Cash

Only You (And You Alone) by The Platters

He's a Tramp by Peggy Lee

Lands End by Clifford Brown & Max Roach

Tweedlee Dee by LaVern Baker

I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone by Elvis Presley

A Blossom Fell by Nat King Cole

Baby, Baby, All the Time by Julie London

I Gotta Have You by Ruth Brown & Clyde McPhatter

Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra

Mambo Carmel by Erroll Garner

Beetle Bug Bop by The Collins Kids (Lorrie & Larry Collins)

Good Rockin' Daddy by Etta James

A Satisfied Mind by Porter Wagoner

Sugar Sweet by Muddy Waters

Blue Gardenia by Dinah Washington

Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford

Love Has Joined Us Together by Ruth Brown & Clyde McPhatter

Baby, Let's Play House by Elvis Presley

I Didn't by Miles Davis

Cry Me a River by Julie London

Jeff by Ahmad Jamal


1954

Earth Angel by The Penguins

Young at Heart by Frank Sinatra

Mambo Baby by Ruth Brown

Skokiaan by Louis Armstrong (there were numerous other versions of Skokiaan released in 1954, including versions by Ralph Marterie, Perez Prado, Ray Anthony, Johnny Hodges, The Four Lads and the song's original artist; August Musarurwa & The Bulawayo Sweet Rhythm Band)

A Stranger Called the Blues by June Christy

Tipitina by Professor Longhair

My Funny Valentine by Chet Baker

Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite by The Spaniels

Blue Moon of Kentucky by Elvis Presley

Ad Lib Blues by Lester Young

Baby, What Else Can I Do by Ella Fitzgerald

Mr. Sandman by The Chordettes

I've Got a Woman by Ray Charles

Atlanta Blues (Make Me One Pallet on Your Floor) by Louis Armstrong

Oh What a Dream by Ruth Brown

I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine by Elvis Presley

Flyin' Home by Lionel Hampton

Something Cool by June Christy

Stormy Blues by Billie Holiday

Off Minor by the Thelonious Monk Trio

Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley & The Comets

Shake, Rattle and Roll by Big Joe Turner

I'm a Fool to Care by Les Paul & Mary Ford

Oop Shoop by Shirley Gunter & the Queens

Sh-Boom by The Chords

Good Rockin' Tonight by Elvis Presley

I Can't Hold Out Any Longer by LaVerne Baker

Memphis Blues by Louis Armstrong


1953

Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton

Tipitina by Professor Longhair

Your Cheatin' Heart by Hank Williams (Sr.)

Monk's Dream by the Thelonious Monk Trio

Bye Bye Blues by Les Paul & Mary Ford

(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean by Ruth Brown

Melancholia by Duke Ellington

I've Got the World on a String by Frank Sinatra

Bemsha Swing by the Thelonious Monk Trio

I Can't Face the Music by Billie Holiday

Mess Around by Ray Charles

Apples, Peaches and Cherries by Peggy Lee

C'est si bon by Eartha Kitt

Money Honey by Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters

Vaya Con Dios by Les Paul & Mary Ford

That's Amore by Dean Martin

Little Rootie Tootie by the Thelonious Monk Trio

Rock n Roll Blues by Anita O'Day

Oh My Darling by Carmen McRae

Honey Hush by Big Joe Turner

Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by The Four Lads

It's the Same by Rosemary Clooney & Marlene Dietrich

Blow Wind Blow by Muddy Waters

Crying in the Chapel by Ella Fitzgerald

Kaw-Liga by Hank Williams (Sr.)

Reflections in D by Duke Ellington

I Hear the Music Now by Peggy Lee

Angelinos Negros by Eartha Kitt

Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee by Doris Day


1952

Trying by Ella Fitzgerald

Jambalaya (On the Bayou) by Hank Williams (Sr.)

Glow Worm by The Mills Brothers

A Tone Parallel to Harlem (Harlem Suite) by Duke Ellington

You Turned the Tables on Me by Billie Holiday

The Wheel of Fortune by Kay Starr

I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Hank Williams (Sr.)

Walking My Baby Back Home by Johnny Ray

The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) by The Weavers

Sing, Sing, Sing by The Andrews Sisters

Carioca by Les Paul

John Hardy's Wife by Oscar Peterson

Goin' Home by Fats Domino

Half as Much by Hank Williams (Sr.)

5, 10, 15 Hours by Ruth Brown

Happy Trails to You by Roy Rogers & Dale Evans

Have Mercy Baby by The Dominoes

Walking by the River by Ella Fitzgerald

Baby, Won't You Please Come Home by Ray Charles

Honky Tonk Blues by Hank Williams (Sr.)

Lady Miss Clawdy by Lloyd Price


1951

Unforgettable by Nat King Cole

Cold, Cold Heart by Hank Williams (Sr.)

A Kiss to Build a Dream On by Louis Armstrong

I'll Wait for You by Ruth Brown

Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston

How High the Moon by Les Paul & Mary Ford

Sixty Minute Man by Billy Ward & the Dominoes

Smooth Sailing by Ella Fitzgerald

Too Young by Nat King Cole

Smada by Duke Ellington

Evenin' by Kay Starr

Appealing Blues (Hello Little Girl) by Muddy Waters

We Kiss in a Shadow by Frank Sinatra

Train Kept a Rollin' by Tiny Bradshaw

Jazz Me Blues by Les Paul

Hey Little Girl by (Roeland) Roy Byrd (aka Professor Longhair)

Shine On by Ruth Brown

Hey Good Lookin' by Hank Williams (Sr.)

Tear Drops From My Eyes by Louis Jordan

Ocean of Tears by Kay Starr & Tennessee Ernie Ford

Careless Love by Fats Domino

Cold, Cold Heart by Tony Bennett

Honey Bee by Muddy Waters

Standing on the Corner by Ruth Brown

You're My Sugar by Kay Starr & Tennessee Ernie Ford


1950

Mona Lisa by Nat King Cole

Can Anyone Explain by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

When You're Smiling by Frank Sinatra

Oh Babe by Kay Starr

Nevertheless by The Mills Brothers

Movin' On by Hank Snow

Someone to Watch Over Me by Ella Fitzgerald

Tennessee Waltz by Patti Page

La Vie en rose by Louis Armstrong

Goodnight Irene by The Weavers

I'll Never be Free by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan

Someday Sweetheart by Kay Starr

Mardi Gras in New Orleans by Professor Longhair (aka Roeland "Roy" Byrd)

El Rancho e' la Cambiche by Antonio Tormo

Teardrops From My Eyes by Ruth Brown

The Fat Man by Fats Domino

Long Gone Lonesome Blues by Hank Williams (Sr.)

A Bushel and a Peck by Perry Como & Betty Hutton

I've Got a Crush on You by Ella Fitzgerald

Someday by The Mills Brothers

The Wedding Samba by The Andrews Sisters & Carmen Miranda

Double Crossing Blues by Johnny Otis & Little Esther

Bewitched by Doris Day

My Foolish Heart by Billy Eckstine

Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy by Red Foley

Maybe by Ella Fitzgerald

Bonaparte's Retreat by Kay Starr

Louisiana Blues by Muddy Waters

The Thing by Phil Harris

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Level 57
Oct 31, 2022
My father grew up during the 50s and he always talked about how much he missed the old stars of music and when he died, at the funeral we played his old albums on his record player.This list put a smile on my face when I saw it. :)
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Level 62
Oct 31, 2022
Thank you. A lot of people think that great music started in the 60s, but the more I study it I find that every era has great music if you're willing to look for it.
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Level 62
Oct 31, 2022
What were the artists he liked?
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Level 57
Nov 1, 2022
Billy Eckstine,Ella Fitzgerald,Kay Starr,Frank Sinatra,and Muddy Waters
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Level 62
Nov 1, 2022
Very cool. Thanks.