One friend, Judy, stated: "My grandkids like music, but it's not part of their being - not the way it was with us. I think we had something really special." Then it began. We started forming our own list. We collectively decided that such lists are probably regional so we began to think of songs from the southern part of the country and particularly our home state, Louisiana.
It's not uncommon for boomers in my area to have impromptu gatherings to play the old songs while some dance. My friend, Frank, owns a jukebox where he frequently loads the old favorites and plays them for us when we gather. It's truly a magical way to travel in time.
After much Facebook bantering and discussion we came up with a list of the songs that had influence on the Boomers of the Deep South during the 60's, as that was the decade of our youth. Perhaps we cannot say they "defined" us, but we still like to hear them and many of us still enjoy dancing to them. They are listed in no particular order and for the sake of brevity, is highly edited as we had so many suggestions. The performers of the song versions we remember are listed in parentheses.
Many of these songs can be purchased yet today electronically, some are available in shops such as Atomic Pop Shop that specializes in the old tunes and the old ways of listening to them. Some, however, exist only in our hearts and memories.
Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Kiss Me Just One More Time (Floyd Brown)
It's Raining (Irma Thomas)
Ruler of My Heart (Irma Thomas)
Lipstick Traces (Benny Spellman)
Anna (Arthur Alexander)
You Better Move On (Arthur Alexander)
Crazy Baby (Van Broussard)
Judy in Disguise (John Fred and the Playboys)
All These Things (Art Neville)
Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)
I'm Leaving it up to You (Dale and Grace)
Sweet Soul Music (Arthur Conley)
St. James Infirmary (Bobby "Blue" Bland)
Ya Ya (Lee Dorsey)
Working in the Coal Mine (Lee Dorsey)
Counting the Steps (Greek Fountains)
Keep Your Hands off My Baby (Hal Ellis and Ye Old Inn Crowd)
and lastly, ANYTHING by Elvis Presley, a true southerner!
Thanks for Frank Parker, a dear friend, for allowing access to his extensive collection of music from our boomer era. Also a thank you very much and a "shout out" to Atomic Pop Shop in Baton Rouge, LA for the excellent pictures of the record players. Many of these songs are on Youtube....just listen to your heart's content and enjoy.