The 1960s was a historic era that took the music industry by storm. It experimented with new sounds, rhythms, purposes, and music patterns. The ‘60s is heavily associated with the equal rights movement and many trends from music shifted to be associated with the movement. Additionally, this era in music transitioned music from 78rpm records into 45rpm records, which resulted in music being quickly taken off of the radio or never broadcasted at all. With the abundance of music artists coming into the music industry and new record releases, the rich music of the 60’s has gotten lost and forgotten. Below are a few songs from the ‘60s that can make great hits to add to your playlist.
Early 1960s Era
Many of the musical trends and styles of the early 1960s were adapted from the music of the 1950s. Although music genres in the ‘50s were very diverse and ranged from Doo-Wop to Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll dominated the music scene and had a prevalent role through the early ‘60s as well. Many of the songs that were popular during the early ’60s were actually created and produced during the late ‘50s but were not broadcast for a few years. Below are a few hit records from the early ‘60s that have gotten lost over time.
The Majors: A Wonderful Dream
Released in 1962, this song quickly took over the hearts of many during the Equal Rights Era. This is a great hit to relive your best memories of the ‘60s while enjoying a feel good record.
Johnny Burnette: You’re Sixteen
Johnny Burnette released this single in 1961 and it became a success. Many other artists covered the song including Ringo Starr.
Dick and Dee Dee: The Mountains High
Genre: Pop and R&B
This song was one of the first songs that gained immense popularity in 1961 when it was released.
The Shirelles: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
A ‘60s playlist would not be complete without this classic that first hit the industry in 1960.
Bobby Vinton: Roses Are Red
Bobby Vinton was known for spending months writing one song until it was perfect. This shows through the lyrics of Roses Are Red which led to its popularity in 1962.
Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and many other pioneers gained popularity in the mid-1960s which led to the rise of the Progressive Rock and Blues era. Their popularity set the stage for other well-known and respected artists such as The Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones. Along with the Equal Rights Movement, this era encompassed movements for environmentalism and “flower power” which can be seen through many songs of the mid-‘60s.
Patty Duke: Don’t Just Stand There
Although Patty Duke was most known for her acting, her first single became a hit as soon as it was released in 1965. This song focuses on fading love and became an empowering song for many.
Jody Miller: Queen of the House
Genre: Rock and Country
This song supports the feminism movement that was prominent during the ‘60s. Released in 1965, this song was an answer to Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”.
The Beatles: I Want To Hold Your Hand
Genre: Pop and Rock
The mid-’60s were dominated by The Beatles and this was one of their popular songs which were released in 1964.
Them: Here Comes The Night
The ‘60s had many artists that took over the music industry globally. Them was one of these bands that took over radio stations all the way from Ireland. “Here Comes The Night” was just one song that gained popularity that was released in 1965 out of many hits.
Sir Douglas Quintet: She’s About a Mover
This song was covered by many artists as well, but the original was released in 1965 by vocalist Sir Douglas Quintet. The song was known for its catchy tune and repetitive lyrics.
Late 1960s Era
As the ‘60s came to an end, the music industry took a deep dive into what now is known as the beginning of Hard Rock and Roots Rock. Although an uncommon term, Roots Rock is quite popular and is connected to the country and folk roots Rock was born out of. One of the most popular Roots Rock artists is the well-known band, the Beatles. Here are a few songs that can make good additions to your ‘60s playlist.
Spanky and Our Gang: Give a Damn
This song was popularized by the equal rights movement in the late summer of 1968 by British band, Spanky and Our Gang. If you need to be empowered, this song will make a good listen.
Nirvana: Tiny Goddess
Genre: Pop and Rock
Although Nirvana became popular later on, the band’s roots began in the ‘60s. “Tiny Goddess” was one of their first songs that became well-known and loved.
Beach Boys: Gettin’ Hungry
The Beach Boys released this song in 1967 purely for its unusual characteristics and unique qualities compared to their already released hits. Although the song was released on a whim, it became a huge hit in the late ‘60s.
The Box Tops: Neon Rainbow
Genre: Pop Rock
This 1967 single was first released by The Box Tops, but its great success, meaningful lyrics about a big city, and catchy tune led it to be covered by multiple artists and even used in recent advertisements.
Billie Davis: Angel of the Morning
Genre: Pop and Country
This 60s classic was a fan favorite that came out at the end of the decade in 1968. The song was inspired by The Rolling Stones’ Ruby Tuesday and gained popularity worldwide with covers by various artists and features in movies, shows and more.