In a musical age inundated with formulaic pop music and the same songs featured on a non-stop radio death loop, seek out soulful and talented musicians that came before the never-ending spiral of artificial talent. This week, we present to you the top five golden oldies songs that you should always keep on your essential oldies playlists:


1. “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” – Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is must-have for anyone who claims the title of a music-lover. Stevie Wonder is a legend of Motown and continues to make great music to this day. This song in particular is an upbeat number off of Wonder’s 1973 album “Innervisions” that will definitely make you get up and dance. The song was featured as a dance number in the movie “Silver Linings Playbook” and many others. Look for more songs off of Wonder’s early album “The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie,” his first Motown record released in 1962 when he was just a tween or his later 1976 album “Songs in the Key of Life” or any album Stevie Wonder has ever released.



2. “Try A Little Tenderness” – Otis Redding

Otis Redding's 1966 album

This powerful number rocked the world of music when it was released on Otis Redding’s 1966 album, “Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul.” The album topped both R&B and pop charts, marking a breakthrough into the white rock audience. There is a moment in this song that always brings chills; this song showcases the raw talent and soul harnessed by this legendary musician.





3. “Get Back” – The Beatles

You should always have a healthy amount of The Beatles on any “essential oldies” playlist. The song “Get Back” was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and first appeared on their 1970’s album “Let It Be.” For lesser-known Beatles songs check out their psychedelic albums “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band” and “Magical Mystery Tour.”






4. “House of the Rising Sun” – The Animals–animals-the-animals-album-cover.html

This blues/folk song topped charts in the UK and the US in 1964 when it was released on their self-titled album “The Animals.” This song actually dates back to the 17th century as a traditional folk song stemming from its origins in the South. The song was covered by a few different artists in the 20’s and 30’s and then, of course by the Animals as well as Bob Dylan in the mid 1960’s. This song is a bluesy essential oldie from the era of the British Invasion.




5. “America the Beautiful” – Ray Charles

Ray Charles encapslates such incredible power and emotion in every song he belts out– especially in this soulful love song to America which first appeared on his 1972 album “A Message From the People.” It is even more moving when you consider the hardships Ray Charles endured not only as a blind man, but as a black man during a very volatile period in American history. Ray Charles was an extremely talented vocalist, trumpet and saxophone player, pianist and pioneer of the soul genre.




Before you continue on in your venture to find the next “it” band of the moment, make sure you take a moment and appreciate these amazing musicians of the past!


Do you love these essential oldies songs? Share your own essential oldies playlist by posting in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda