Just because it's 2020 and every year of the 60s is now over 50 years ago doesn't mean you cannot throw together a cocktail hour that comprised of songs from this golden decade of music. Actually, if you were to do Google searches for some of the most requested songs on wedding playlists, you would be surprised to find out how many songs came from the 60s. The 60s came with it a British invasion like no other with bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Cream, and Led Zeppelin. If you go back to the main page of this blog, you'll see the Most Visited Posts Ever and in the Top 5 is my very well-visited Motown Music At Weddings post. The British invasion in the 60s was well-documented, but let's not forget some great American artists like The Righteous Brothers, The Beach Boys, and Neil Diamond. From the inauguration of JFK to the Vietnam War, as well as the Summer Of Love and Woodstock, the 60s were a decade of great historical events that would shape the future of America.
And those great historical events would come with them with an unforgettable soundtrack. You'll see some of those timeless songs as you scroll through this post. Whether you would like to sprinkle your wedding playlist with a few of these 60s classics or just create a 60s cocktail hour for your guests to socialize, enjoy this time warp back to one of the greatest decades in music history.
Download These 60 Songs From The 60s From Spotify Right Now!
I made a decision earlier this year to meet my clients where a lot of them are: They love to stream their music and create their wedding playlists online at streaming services like Spotify. To listen to these exceptional playlist of some of the greatest songs of the 60s, just head over to Spotify, and search for DJ Mike Bills.
"Venus" | Shocking Blue
We kick off this incredible selection of 60s songs with a one-hit wonder from the Netherlands who made one of my favorite songs of that decade. Bananarama would cover the song and make it an 80s hit in the summer of 1986. "Venus" would be released in the summer of 1969, about a month before Woodstock and would top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Fortunate Son" | CCR
Now here's a song from the late 60s that certainly will conjure up memories of the Vietnam War, especially if you remember the movie Forrest Gump. "Fortunate Son" was released in the fall of 1969 and would peak at #3 on the Billboard chart in December.
"Brown Eyed Girl" | Van Morrison
This next song is one of the most requested wedding songs by some of my clients. Released in the summer of 1967, "Brown Eyed Girl" would become one of the songs you'd put on your Summer Of Love Soundtrack. The song would peak at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Sweet Caroline" | Neil Diamond
"Sweet Caroline" was released in May of 1969 and would become one of his signature songs. "Sweet Caroline" would break into the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1969.
"It Was A Very Good Year" | Frank Sinatra
Originally recorded in 1961 by Bob Shane and the Kingston Trio, Frank Sinatra would record the song and make it popular toward the end of 1965. For more song ideas for your wedding playlist from Frank Sinatra, be sure to click the preceding link.
"She's Not There" | The Zombies
"She's Not There" was the first single to be released by The Zombies in 1964. It would eventually be followed up with their signature song "Time Of The Season" later in the 60s. "She's Not There" would peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Respect" | Aretha Franklin
At the time of this post, we're coming up on two years since the passing of the Queen Of Soul. It's hard to pick a signature song for Aretha because they were all so very good. For more information on some of the Best Aretha Franklin Songs For Your Wedding Playlist, be sure to check out the preceding link. "Respect" was released in the winter of 1967 and would peak at #1 on the Hot 100.
"Louie Louie" | The Kingsmen
Originally written and recorded in 1955 by Richard Berry, the Kingsmen would make it one of the biggest hits of the 60s in 1963. The song would peak at #2 in late 1963 / early 1964.
"Never My Love" | The Association
The perfect song from the 60s to add into your dinner music selections at your wedding. Release during the middle of the summer in 1967, "Never My Love" would become a Number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Adult contemporary charts.
"Rainy Day Women 12 & 35" | Bob Dylan
The year was 1966. The album was Blonde On Blonde. "Rainy Day Women 12 & 35" was the first track on the album and would peak at #2 on the Billboard charts.
"I Say A Little Prayer" | Dionne Warwick
She was born in Orange, New Jersey and became one of the most popular female singers of the 60s. Her career spanned into the 80s, and you might actually remember her on the music show Solid Gold. Warwick was the original singer on "I Say A Little Prayer", as Aretha Franklin would cover the song later. Dionne Warwick's version would peak at #4 on the Hot 100. For other popular musicians from New Jersey, check out this link.
"Stand By Your Man" | Tammy Wynette
If you are a fan of country, you might consider adding this late 60s country classic from the talented Tammy Wynette. Her signature song would break into the Top 20 of the Hot 100 and top the Country chart.
"A Whiter Shade Of Pale" | Procal Harum
Procal Harum were part of that British invasion we saw through out all of the 60s. This title track to their debut album was released as a a single in 1967 and would top the charts. Annie Lennox would record a cover of the song in 1995.
"Baby Love" | The Supremes
"Bably Love" can be found on the album Where Did Our Love Go, released in 1964. "Baby Love" would make it all the way to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. When this song was released, the Supremes were in the middle of a streak of 5 straight Number 1 songs.
"People Get Ready" | The Impressions
Recorded in Chicago, in 1964, "People Get Ready" would become the signature song of this 60s R&B group. The song would peak at #3 on the Billboard R&B chart, and would later be covered by Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart in the 80s.
"Unchained Melody" | The Righteous Brothers
If someone were to ask me what the Top 5 classic songs for weddings from the 60s were, I would definitely place this song into that list. It's a classic wedding song for a slow dance that is guaranteed to fill the floor. The song was released in 1965 and would peak at #4, but also released again in 1990 with the release of the movie Ghost.
"I'm A Believer" | The Monkees
Written by Neil Diamond, the Monkees made this song a huge hit back in the 60s. It would be the last song in 1966 to top the Billboard Hot 100. Smashmouth would cover the song for the Shrek movie soundtrack.
"For What It's Worth" | Buffalo Springfield
Buffalo Springfield might have one of the short lifespans of a band back in the 60s, but in that short span, they made one of the most requested and iconic songs of the 60s. "For What It's Worth" was released toward the end of 1966, and would eventually peak at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Stand By Me" | Ben E. King
Originally released in 1961, "Stand By Me" would make it all the way to #4 on the Hot 100. The song would be released again in 1986 to commemorate 25 years since it's release, and for the movie Stand By Me. "Stand By Me" is a common choice for first dance, as well as father / daughter dance.
"White Rabbit" | Jefferson Airplane
"White Rabbit" was released during the Summer of Love in June 1967. The song would become the second song of Jefferson Airplane's to reach the Top 10 on the Hot 100.
"These Boots Are Made For Walkin" | Nancy Sinatra
By the end of 1965, the lovely daughter of Frank Sinatra would release her signature song. "These Boots Are Made For Walkin" would eventually make it all the way to Number 1 on the Hot 100.
"Friday On My Mind" | The Easybeats
This next song on this playlist of the Best 60s Songs For Your Wedding Playlist is from a band from Australia. The Easybeats would release "Friday On My Mind" in late 1966 and the song would peak at #16 on the Hot 100 in the spring of 1967.
"Mr. Tambourine Man" | The Byrds
Originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan, the Byrds would release their version of the song in the spring of 1965. "Mr Tambourine Man" was the first release by The Byrds and would become their first Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Everyday People" | Sly & The Family Stone
"Everyday People" was released in November of 1968, and would become the band's first Number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1969.
"It's Your Thing" | The Isley Brothers
Looking to get a little funky at your wedding, this classic 60s song from 1969 will be a sure hit for your guests and get them ready for a night of dancing. "It's Your Thing" would peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. For more songs to add some funk to your wedding playlist, check out this link.
"Pressure Drop" | Toots & The Maytals
Did I ever tell you how much of a chill cocktail hour you'd have if you added some reggae? Reggae is the ultimate chill music, especially if you are by the water at a beautiful wedding venue. For more information on a Reggae Cocktail Hour, be sure to check out this link.
"Cupid" | Sam Cooke
Rolling Stone magazine placed this classic from Sam Cooke on their Top 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. "Cupid" was released in the spring of 1961 and would peak at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Mrs Robinson" | Simon & Garfunkel
You can find "Mrs Robinson" on the 1968 album, Bookends. "Mrs Robinson" would peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and later be covered by alternative rock band, The Lemonheads in 1992.
"I Can't Explain" | The Who
"I Can't Explain" was the first song to be released by The Who, while the band was called The Who. The song did not chart well in the UK or the United States, but would be covered by David Bowie in the early 70s on his Pin-ups album.
"My Boyfriends Back" | The Angels
Back in the summer of 1963, an all-girl group called The Angels released this 60s classic. Truth be told, your boyfriend is back. He is going to the altar with you and you are getting married! The song would make it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stay there for 3 weeks.
"You Really Got Me" | The Kinks
"You Really Got Me" was the third song to be released by The Kinks in the summer of 1964. The song would peak at #1 in the UK, and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Van Halen would cover the song on their debut record Van Halen I in 1978.
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" | The Rolling Stones
From the album Let It Bleed, released in 1969, this song stands at 7 minutes and 29 seconds. There was a radio single version that stood at 4 minutes and 51 seconds.
"Hold On I'm Coming" | Sam And Dave
This Classic Soul song from 1966 is still a pretty big request even over 50 years since it's release. "Hold On I'm Comin" would peak at #1 at the Hot R&B chart.
"Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" | James Brown
James Brown scored his first Top 10 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". The song would become one of the biggest songs of the summer of 1965.
"Sweet Thing" | Van Morrison
The second song from Van Morrison on this list of classic 60s songs for your wedding playlist is from his 1968 album Astral Weeks. Take a listen. by clicking the link in the title of the song.
"Crazy" | Patsy Cline
Originally written by the great Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline would record her version of the song in 1962 and would peak at #2 on the country charts.
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" | The Shirelles
The song was written by the great Carole King. Carole King would release her version of the song in 1971. The Shirelles would release their version in 1960 and score a Number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Cinnamon Girl" | Neil Young
When I worked in classic rock radio, "Cinnamon Girl" was in rotation. The song can be found on Neil Young's 1969 album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.
"California Dreamin" | The Mamas & The Papas
In doing the research for this post, I can tell you the end of 1965 was an incredible time to be alive. "California Dreamin" was another song to be released at the end of 1965 and would peak at #4 in the spring of 1966.
"You Keep Me Hanging On" | The Supremes
This the second song by the Supremes to appear on this playlist of the greatest songs of the 60s. "You Keep Me Hanging On" was released at the end of 1966 and would become another Number 1 song for these ladies of Motown. Kim Wilde would record her cover in 1986 and score a Number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Hot Fun In The Summertime" | Sly & The Family Stone
I can totally understand why Bryan Adams wrote the song "Summer of '69". There was so much great music in 1969 and Woodstock would occur right as this song was released in August 1969.
"I Want To Hold Your Hand" | The Beatles
Released as a single on December 26, 1963, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" would peak at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher" | Jackie Wilson
The 60s had so many great R&B songs that you could dance to, and this song still comes in hot and heavy in rotation at a lot of my weddings. Released in the summe rof 1967, the song would hit on the Billboard R&B Chart, and #6 on the Hot 100.
"Georgia On My Mind" | Ray Charles
For those brides and grooms coming from Atlanta, this is a song you've got to add to your wedding playlist. Ray Charles would release this song in 1960 and score a Number 1 song on the Hot 100. Willie Nelson and Michael Bolton would also do covers of this song.
"Son Of A Preacher Man" | Dusty Springfield
Back in 1968, Dusty Springfield would release the album Disty In Memphis, which would feature this signature song by her. The song would peak at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"This Will Be Our Year" | The Zombies
The perfect love song for your wedding day from the 60s. Take a listen to the song and you'll agree. You can find it on the 1968 album Odyssey and Oracle.
"Cissy Strut" | The Meters
Another funky song from the 60s that appears on my playlist of 30 Songs For Maximum Funk On Your Wedding Playlist. Released in 1969, the song would peak at #4 on the R&B chart.
"Ring Of Fire" | Johnny Cash
"Ring Of Fire" appeared in the Top 5 of the greatest country songs of all time, put together by CMT. The song would peak at #1 on the country charts, but only #17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay" | Otis Redding
Otis Redding is a perfect artist for cocktail hour or dinner at your wedding. Depending on where your wedding reception is, you are probably sitting close to "some bay" or on the water in the Holy City. The song was released in January of 1968 and would top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"I Am The Walrus" | The Beatles
Released in 1967, "I Am The Walrus" would be the B side to "Hello, Goodbye". You can find the song on the classic Beatles album Magical Mystery Tour.
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" | The Rolling Stones
I couldn't do a post on some of the greatest songs from the 60s for your wedding playlist without putting this signature song in the mix by the Rolling Stones. Released just in time for the summer of 1965, the song would make it all the way to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"At Last" | Etta James
At Last was the name of her debut record. The album was released in 1960 and the title track here would become one of the most popular first dance songs requested by a lot of my clients over the years. "At Last" would peak at #2 on the R&B singles charts in 1961.
"Good Vibrations" | The Beach Boys
"Good Vibrations" would be released as a single in the fall of 1966 and would become one of the most popular songs of their career, topping both the U.S and UK charts.
"Oh Darling" | The Beatles
You'll find this classic Beatles on the Abbey Road album released in 1969. For more of the most requested Beatles songs on wedding playlists, you'll want to check out this link.
"Then He Kissed Me" | The Crystals
The Crystals were an all girl group that worked with Phil Spector and his Wall Of Sound. "Then He Kissed Me" was released in the summer of 1963 and would peak at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Wouldn't It Be Nice" | The Beach Boys
"Wouldn't It Be Nice" would be the first single to be released from The Beach Boys epic album Pet Sounds. Released in the summer of 1966, the song would peak at #8 on the Hot 100 and is a popular choice for recessional songs at wedding ceremonies.
"Like A Rolling Stone" | Bob Dylan
"Like A Rolling Stone" can be found on the album Highway 61 Revisited. The song was released in the summer of 1965 and would peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Like A Rolling Stone" also appears on my Americana Music Cocktail Hour Playlist.
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" | Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
The song was written by Ashford and Simpson in 1966 and would become a hit song in 1967 by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The song is a popular wedding playlist request and would peak at #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B charts.
"House Of The Rising Sun" | The Animals
Those couples getting married in New Orleans most likely will put this classic song from the 60s on their wedding playlist. "house Of The Rising Sun" was released in the summer of 1964 and would become a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100.
"The Locomotion" | Little Eva
Originally written by Carole King and Gerry Coffin in 1962, Little Eva would score a Number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. Then in the 70s, Grand Funk Railroad would do their version, and in the 80s, Kylie Minogue would record her version of the song.
Ready To Talk To Mike Bills About Being Your Wedding DJ?
Wow. I think I really outdid myself on this post with 60 of The Best Songs From The 60s For Your Wedding Playlist. I'm sure I've probably left some big ones off of this list, but you get the jist. Plus, this blog is overloaded with many, many playlists for the modern bride and groom who are looking for inspiration when putting together their wedding playlist. Perhaps later I can do a Volume 2 for the greatest songs from the 60s? We'll see. Thank you for making it to the end of another blog post. I'd love to talk to you about being your wedding DJ. All you need to do is click the link up above and you'll be taken over to my contact form where you give me a few details of your big day. I look forward to hearing from you!.