Which 1960s songs are very danceable?

I’ve been asked to come up with a list of songs for a 60s-themed holiday dance party–possibly leaning toward the early 60s though not necessarily. My question is: what are the most danceable songs from this era?

Now I know that you can dance as a couple to smooth Frank Sinatra tunes, but I am thinking more of the kind of dancing people do on their own, just getting into the beat, without any practiced knowledge of dancing.

I’m thinking of songs like the Rolling Stone’s “Satisfaction” (1965) and Shocking Blue’s “Venus” (which was actually from 1970 but that’s okay). Songs that make people want to put down their drink and get moving!

I need to get this together in a couple of weeks so your help will be greatly appreciated.

Danceable early 1960s tunes? Wasn’t that all of them?

My suggestion: get hold of the American Graffiti soundtrack. You’ll have many of the best from the late 50s and early 60s on one or two CDs. There are, of course, many more than just on this soundtrack, but this soundtrack will certainly be a good start.

The 60s is full of dance song. Remember the wild parties on “Laugh-In,” OK look at YouTube for info. :slight_smile:

I loved Petula Clark’s, My Love a very bouncy type tune which went to #1. A lot of bubblegum music of that era is danceable, like “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy,” and “Sugar, Sugar” etc are good. BTW Julie London actually does a great remake of “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.”

Thanks! I don’t know “My Love” but will check it out–but just wanted to say that, yes, the go-go dancing from Laugh-In is exactly the mood the hosts want to capture. Maybe some danceable psychedelic-ish music like The Doors. Nothing from the 50s as that will be wrong for the theme.

Just noticed while poking around that the Kinks “You Really Got Me” was recorded in 1964; I never would have guessed! But that’s the right kind of song too.

“Shout” was released I think in the late 50’s but is super-danceable.

If you want dance music from the 60s, why not pick dance songs?
The Twist (the only song to top the Billboard harts in two separate chart urns) Chubby Checker
Do the Pony (Also Chubby), Mashed Potato Time (Dee Dee Sharp), are all good.
Dancin’ in the Streets - Martha & the Vandellas
Land of 1,000 Dances - Wilson Pickett
Dance to the Music - Sly & the Family Stone
Devil with a Blue Dress - Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
Louie, Louis - The Kingsmen
Mony Mony - Tommy James & the Shondells
Travelin’ Band - Creedence
Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
Crossroads - Cream

That’s some early and some late 60s stuff.
If something in that bunch doesn’t get 'em on the dance floor, call 9-1-1; they’re catatonic.

Just for the record - I hate dancing. I never dance.

My boyfriend and I have been working on the unpacking for the last 3 hours and we have Solid Gold Oldies playing on Music Choice. I have been boogieing my way around the house for all three hours.

There just aren’t many songs from the 60’s that aren’t danceable.

Right now:

Dickey Lee - I Saw Linda Yesterday. I’ve never even heard this song before but if I hadn’t been typing, I’d have been dancing.
If you have Music Choice on your cable, just turn this channel on.

James Brown, James Brown, James Brown.

Every uptempo Motown song from the decade. Go for the Supremes, the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, the Miracles, the Four Tops and so on, and everybody will dance like crazy.

Cool Jerk by the Capitols
She’s About a Mover by the Sir Douglas Quintet
Over and Over by the Dave Clark Five
It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones
She’s Just My Style by Gary Lewis and the Playboys
Five O’Clock World by the Vogues
Keep On Dancing by the Gentrys
Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers
See See Rider by Eric Burdon and the Animals
Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson
Expressway to Your Heart by the Soul Survivors
Little Latin Lupe Lu by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

[QUOTE=Dorothea Book;11857140…but just wanted to say that, yes, the go-go dancing from Laugh-In is exactly the mood the hosts want to capture.[/QUOTE]

That was pretty much the style though.

You had the harder edge sounds like the Beatles and the Stones, the you had some acid type Janis Joplin or Sly Stone, and while you can dance to them, I guess I don’t consider that dance music, so to speak.

You may want to Google around for Shindig or other shows like that. Maybe you can find a clip on YouTube.

Some 1963-1966 stuff:

Beach Boys – Shut Down, Little Deuce Coupe, Surfin’ USA
Jan & Dean – Surf City
Beatles – Please Please Me, She Loves You
Stones – The Last Time
Freddie & the Dreamers – I’m Telling You Now
Herman’s Hermits – I’m Into Something Good
Manfred Mann – Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Sha La La
Dave Clark Five – Catch Us If You Can
Rascals – Good Lovin’

And Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” from 1967

Sly Stone not dance music? Are you kiddin’? How can you not move your ass to “I Want To Take You Higher”, “Family Affair”, “Thank You (Falettinme Mice Elf Agin)”? In fact, Sly and the Family Stone is a good suggestion for the OP.


and “I Just Want to Make Love to You” by Muddy Waters

Here’s a groovey dance.

Nigel Lythgoe from back in the day showing that he is very qualified to judge other people’s dancing skills.


Now that sounds like the Tom Tom Club!

Thanks, everyone, for these really excellent suggestions: a great blend for me of the familiar and the unfamiliar and all very danceable.

Satisfaction? I dunno. This always strikes me as the kind of song where people will typically just shake around. In other words, I think it’s “danceable,” but only in the sense that you can dance to just about any song with a strong beat.

I hereby nominate Runaround Sue. It helps if you have a background in swing or jazz dancing, but even if you don’t, the rhythm helps you do more interesting moves than just wiggling around. (It’s from 1961, which may explain why it’s somewhat reminiscent of the more danceable music of the 50s.)

A few other early- to mid-60s selections:

Gary “U.S.” Bonds: Quarter to Three
Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon: Palisades Park
Marcie Blaine: Bobby’s Girl
Swingin’ Medallions: Double Shot of My Baby’s Love
Bobby Fuller Four: I Fought the Law
Del Shannon: Runaway

A few that leap to mind:

Little Eva - The Locomotion (1962)
? and the Mysterians - 96 Tears (1966)
Spencer Davis Group - Gimme Some Loving (1967)

Yup. Not to mention the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Rolling Stones, and far too many others to mention.