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The Best 1950s Road Trip Playlist for 2020

Things to remember...

  • Jazz music was wildly popular in the 1950s
  • Swing dancing and big bands are characteristic of this era
  • The classic hits of what many believed to be America’s “golden age” are great, upbeat melodies to bring along on your next road trip

You might be ready to hit the road, but are you ready for a blast from the past? You don’t need a Delorean to go back in time with our 1950s road trip playlist.

We’ve gathered tracks from the top artists of the decade to bring you a perfect blend of the 50s swing bands and jazz crooners.

Whether you’re looking to relive the good old days as you embrace your retirement or just delving into the glory days of music’s past for some new tunes and inspiration, these songs are great for tuning into history and getting a feel for what life was like in the midst of the American Dream.

Table of Contents

Road Trip Essentials: It’s Not Just Music and a Map

We’re sure you’ve done your homework and triple-checked your bags for everything you’ll need to make this next road trip great. But have you checked your car insurance?

Before a big trip, it’s always a good idea to check your coverage and compare quotes to make sure you aren’t missing out on savings deals.

We can help. Just enter your ZIP code above and tell us a few details about your current vehicle and coverage. We’ll send you free auto insurance quotes online within minutes.

The Best 50’s Road Trip Songs

1. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley

2. Shake, Rattle And Roll – Bill Haley & His Comets

3. Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins

4. (We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets

5. Long Tall Sally – Little Richard

6. Why Do Fools Fall In Love – Frankie Lymon, die Teenagers

A question that still begs answer today. Many people may credit this song to Diana Ross, whose 1981 hit was riding high on global music charts worldwide.

However, the original creators were the NYC-based group who also enjoyed some chart success; “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” was #6 on Billboard’s Top Singles and #1 on the UK Top Singles chart in July

7. You Send Me – Sam Cooke

8. I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash

9. Hound Dog – Elvis Presley

10. I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Frank Sinatra

11. I’ve Got a Woman – Ray Charles

12. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard

Little Richard’s 1957 smash hit was his first major record and landed him a place in Mojo magazine’s “The Top 100 Records That Changed The World”.

You may not think that rock music sounds much like Little Richard’s tracks today, but this song (which translates to “all fruits” in Italian) introduced many of the genre’s most prominent characteristics.

13. All Shook Up – Elvis Presley

14. Memories Are Made of This – Dean Martin

15. Come Prima – Marino Marini

16. Butterfly – Andy Williams

17. When I Fall In Love – Nat King Cole

18. La Bamba – Ritchie Valens

“La Bamba” was adopted from a Mexican wedding song by Ritchie Valen’s in 1958, and his rendition earned him a Grammy nomination and stands as the only non-English song on Rolling Stone’s magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”

19. Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers

20. Goodnite, It’s Time to Go – The Spaniels

21. See You Later, Alligator – Bill Haley & His Comets

22. Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Williams

23. King Creole – Elvis Presley

24. Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly

25. Little Darlin’ – The Diamonds

26. Shouts, Pts. 1 & 2 – The Isley Brothers

A much more positive and energizing way to let out road rage.

27. Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters

28. Good Golly Miss Molly – Little Richard

29. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry

30. Dream Lover – Bobby Darin

31. Remember You’re Mine – Pat Boone

32. That’s Amore – Dean Martin

33. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear – Elvis Presley

Although he never toured overseas, this track is one of many top hits that Presley fans around the world still enjoy today.

34. Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers 

35. Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis

36. Be-Bop-A-Lula – Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps

37. Magic Moments – Perry Como

38. Party Doll – Buddy Knox

39. Witch Doctor – David Seville

The voice you hear in the catchy, comedic “Witch Doctor” is actually by the creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian Sr.. Under the stage name David Seville, he released this catchy, comedic track in 1958. The voice of the witch doctor is actually his own sped up double speed, which was later used again to created Alvin and the Chipmunks.

40. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley

41. Book of Love – The Mudlarks

42. Banana Boat (Day-O) – Harry Bellafonte

43. Buleberry Hill – Fats Domino 

44. C’Mon Everybody – Eddie Cochran

45. Fever – Peggy Lee

46. Red River Rock – Johnny & The Hurricanes

47. Mona Lisa  – Nat King Cole

48. Rocket 88 – Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats

49. Rags to Riches – Tony Bennett

50. Slow Poke – Pee Wee King

51. The Twist – Hank Ballard & The Midnighters

52. Come Go With Me – The Del-Vikings 

53. Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On – Jerry Lee Lewis

54. Rave On – Buddy Holly

55. Tequila – The Champs

Get Covered and Enjoy the Ride

The last thing you want is an insurance mishap wrecking your road trip.

Check out free car insurance quotes by entering your zip code below and enjoy real-time rates that might save you money and give you better coverage before you hit the road!


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_Do_Fools_Fall_in_Love_(song)
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutti_Frutti_(song)
  3. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/500-greatest-songs-of-all-time-151127/ritchie-valens-la-bamba-34872/
  4. https://www.axs.com/news/the-truth-why-elvis-presley-never-toured-outside-of-north-america-reve-70030


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