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20 Songs From The ’60s That Your Kids Should Know By Heart

March 4, 2014 11:11 AM

AP Photo

The Beatles (AP Photo)

Music is a culture all its own. In fact, it’s like a language. If we stop using it, it will disappear and be forgotten. So here is a small attempt to keep it alive.

These are twenty songs from the 1960’s that, at one point in time, were the life of the party – now it’s up to you to teach them to your children and make them appreciate them!


20 Songs From the ’70s That Your Kids Should Know By Heart

20 Songs From the ’80s That Your Kids Should Know By Heart

Hey Jude, The Beatles (1968)

First of all, every song by The Beatles is a classic and your kids should know them by heart – but “Hey Jude” is especially great. This song topped the charts in 1968 and spent nine weeks at Number 1 in the U.S. It’s a motivational love song: “Remember to let her into your heart” and “the movement you need is on your shoulders,” are both sweet lines that make you want to get to know Jude.

Respect, Aretha Franklin (1967)

Aretha Franklin is one of the most respected female artists of all time. Your kids need to know this song, because, as kids, they probably don’t have have enough “Respect” for anyone. The best part about this song is about having respect for yourself as well as other people. The respect for themselves is the most needed part in this day and age though.

Light My Fire, The Doors (1967)

Released in 1967, this song quickly became known as The Doors‘ signature song and is ranked on multiple lists as one of the greatest songs of all time. One of the most famous moments was when Jim Morrison sang the lyrics “we couldn’t get much higher” on the Ed Sullivan Show after agreeing not to – and caused quite the riot.

My Generation, The Who (1965)

The Who are one of the most influential rock bands and this song has been listed by VH1 and Rolling Stone as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. Everybody who is ever between the ages of 16 and 25 should know this  song and rock out to it at parties and bars because it will forever be relatable to the young generation.

I Fought The Law, Bobby Fuller (1966)

Your kids need to know this song if for no other reason than a lesson. This song was released in 1966 and is recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as Rolling Stone. Even though it is a cover (originally written by Sonny Curtis) it was clearly a crowd pleaser. And it will also be a good song to let your kids know that the law always wins.

Sounds of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel created so many great songs over the years and deserve the recognition. The video is from a concert in MSG back in 2009 but man does this song sound just as good as it did 40 years ago when they wrote it. This is also a great song for children as they grow up so they can understand the power of silence.

Nights In White Satin, The Moody Blues (1967)

This song by Justin Hayward and The Moody Blues made waves for such an atypical song of the disco era. It was much slower than what was popular at the time but people still loved it, perhaps for the break in the middle known as ‘in the middle of the night.’

Stand By Me, Ben E. King (1961)

Give me one good reason why your kids shouldn’t know this song! This track was released in 1961 and is still used in movies and television shows all the time. I don’t know how anyone could dislike this song. At first it sounds like another love song but it turned in to so much more when the movie, Stand By Me, was released in 1986 and made it a friendship song as well.

Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)

CCR is one of the greatest bands of the ’60s. Hands down. They had an innumerable amount of hits, this being just one of them. CCR is a good place to start when teaching your kids some classic rock. One of the best things about this song is that it isn’t the same love song that everyone else was writing in the ’60s. It is a sad song about the end, and a good one at that.

Under The Boardwalk, The Drifters (1964)

Released in 1964, this love song was an instant hit. The sweet jazzy undertones make this song an easy listen but it’s still so great to sing to. The lead singer, Rudy Lewis, died the night before they were set to record it from a heroin overdose and so the former lead singer, Johnny Moore was permanently brought back in. Based on the success of this song, even today, I guess Moore did a pretty decent job.

Son of a Preacher Man, Dusty Springfield (1968)

This song was originally offered to Aretha Franklin but she turned it down and Dusty’s version became a Top 10 international hit. Aretha and her sister both recorded it a year later in 1969 but with varying success.

Shop Around, The Miracles (1960)

Well, frankly, this is just good advice from ‘Mama.’ The Miracles were one of the best Motown groups of the time and this is a good fun song that you can also jam to. With great music and good lyrics, it’s an American classic about growing up, dating and marriage.

Dancing in the Street, Martha and the Vandellas (1964)

Another Motown classic, this song is also still used in commercials and on TV so your kids should already know it. But if they don’t, it’s worthy of sharing because of its beat. It is just a great song to put you in a good mood and keep you happy.

Where Did Our Love Go?, The Supremes (1964)

The Supremes are one of the most well known and influential Motown groups of all time and if you don’t teach your children this song, teach them something by The Supremes. After all, Motown gave birth to pretty much everything that is popular in music today. This song just might be the original country song that talks about having a loved one walk out on you.

Barbara Ann, The Beach Boys (1965)

The Beach Boys were still popular up until the late ’90s. This song came out in 1961 but even I still remember listening to it growing up. A classic pop/rock song. Can’t you just see people jiving every time you hear it?

Georgia On My Mind, Ray Charles (1968)

How could you think you could get away without teaching your children about Ray Charles? One of the best pianists/artists of all time… and he was blind. You can’t teach that kind of talent. This is music. Do your kids a favor and pass this on.

House Of The Rising Sun, The Animals (1964)

A traditional folk song that The Animals recorded in 1964, this took off and became a Number 1 hit in five different countries including the United States and the UK. So clearly I’m not the only one who thinks this is a good song. Maybe save it for a dreary, rainy day though.

Aquarius, The Fifth Dimension (1969)

This was the first medley to ever hit Number 1 on the charts (and it stayed there for six weeks). It is, in fact, a mix of the two songs, “Aquarius” and “Let the Sunshine In.” It was eventually certified platinum. But the reason you need to share this with the next generation is because it’s a song about peace and love, you don’t see many of those these days.

Come Together, The Beatles (1969)

Like I said, pretty much all of The Beatles‘ songs should be passed on to the next generation but here is another good starting point. This is just a feel good, do good, kind of song about love. We need more songs like this instead of ones about twerking.

I Got You Babe, Sonny & Cher (1965)

Well, we have to have a song by Sonny and Cher. It doesn’t seem right not to. This is one of those songs that, if your kids don’t know all the words by now then they will surely be embarrassed at the next family wedding. Cher will forever will be an icon in music.

–Cameron Steagall/WCBSFM

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