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Top 500 Oldies Playlist

The nucleus of this playlist started when I attempted to recreate the WCBS Top 500 Oldies of all-time based on airplay and New York City charts. As I complied my list and listened to the music I came to the realization that I could do better. I just didn't agree with or even remember some of the songs included on the WCBS list. So, here's my top 500 oldies of all time based on WCBS Top 500 Oldies playlist. As mentioned in the book High Fidelity, there is a certain art to making a great mix tape or CD. What songs you choose, and how you choose them, will largely affect how much your efforts will be appreciated. I believe the same can be said for the playlist - the modern-day mix tape. For this playlist I followed these rules.

  1. The majority of songs had to be released in between 1955 and 1975.
  2. I included songs that I heard on the Philadelphia stations WIP, WIBG, and WFIL.
  3. If I heard a song played at a wedding and lot of older people got up to dance to it (ie Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll") I put it on the list.
  4. I included songs that sounded like they were recoded during the '55-'75 time frame (ie Billy Joel's "The Longest Time")
  5. This list could have easily have been 1000 songs. So, in an effort to represent as many artists/bands as I could I decided to keep the number of songs per artist/band to ten. I only broke this rule with The Beatles, Supremes, and Elvis for obvious reasons.
  6. Every song must be widely known by the majority not the minority.

This playlist is presented alphabetically by artist. I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.

Download/Print The Top 500 Oldies Playlist (pdf)