The Best Songs From 1961

March 8, 2021

Scroll down to hear the best 1961 Chart songs that deserve a place in your playlists.

I turned on the radio for the first time in a while the other day and listened to the UK Top 40 charts. The first song I heard was about someone getting their driving license and was followed by a song that was so autotuned, it sounded like my microwave was singing. In fact, most of the songs sound like they were sang through a desk fan.

Am I sounding like I’m 100 years old right now? Well, I’m currently in the midst of writing a book on sixties music so I’ve been listening to A LOT from the era. And the top UK 40 from 60 years ago feels much more ALIVE. Autotune wasn’t even invented… thank god.

Don’t believe me? Here are some absolute banging 1961 chart songs.

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1. I Just Wanna Make Love To You By Etta James

This is such a sexy banger and no one can sing it better than Etta. She can switch from soft to feisty in the flick of a finger.

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2. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow By The Shirelles

Girl bands were hot in the early sixties and The Shirelles were one of the first. ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ remains one of their biggest hits.

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3. Hit The Road Jack By Ray Charles

The ultimate break up song. If your ex turns up, just start singing the chorus at him.

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4. The Wanderer By Dion

The definition of big dick energy. Still a bop.

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5. Crazy By Patsy Cline

Patsy sings about loving someone who doesn’t love us back. I feel like we can all relate.

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6. Take Good Care Of My Baby By Bobby Vee

While the boys were busy picking their favourite girl band member, the girls were swooning over Bobby Vee. I wish all men still dressed like this.

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7. Funnel Of Love By Wanda Jackson

Wanda loved releasing a good party song. This is what would have been playing in the nightclubs.

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8. Please Mr Postman By The Marvelettes

As much as ditching the technology and social media sounds so freeing, The Marvelettes explain why it’s not so great when you have a long distance boyfriend.

Wanna hear more? I’ve made a whole playlist of music that was on the radio during 1961. Listen to it here.

P.S. If you’re interested in my next book on sixties music, click here to join the waitlist.

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