I’m going to start the week out by playing DJ. Below is a playlist with 50 tunes spanning the years 1954-1967.
This is not a historic survey, but instead a far more personal selection. In general, these are songs I’ve been listening to for a long time. A couple are from my parents’ record collection, which I first started to appreciate at age 17. Others are standards that I especially like and first heard on AM radio when I inherited my grandpa’s car. Some of the jumpin’ tunes are songs I used to play when I really was a DJ, hosting a weekly swing-dance event in what now feels like another lifetime ago.
But I did try to represent the breadth of music available during the Ivy heyday — save for British Invasion rock and plenty of other genres I’m sure I neglected.
The music should evoke the following daydreams:
• Dancing shag at Myrtle Beach in 1963
• Singing songs like “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” in your dorm room with the preppies from the movie “School Ties”
• Dancing the cha-cha in a white dinner jacket at the country club dance
• Hanging out in Europe in 1958 with Dickie Greeleaf and listening to jazz
• Visiting Playboy’s Penthouse with Don Draper to hear folk singers in Ivy League suits
• Skipping spring break in Bermuda and heading out to California to ride the waves at Huntington Beach and hear jazz at The Lighthouse
• Hanging out with literary beatniks in Greenwich Village
• Outfitting your space-age bachelor pad and dreaming of being an astronaut
There’s at least one tune that fall outside the chronological timeframe, and, just as with blog posts in general, I cannot guarantee that each one of you will like every song.
But I hope young readers discover something new, and older ones savor fond memories. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD