Hey Scott— I want to learn songs my parents knew when they were growing up. Do you have any suggestions for songs to learn that were popular during the 50s?

Hey there— great question! I love giving ideas to students, I do hope at least one of these below will strike a chord (pun intended) and you can figure it out on the keys.

Mona Lisa- Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole will always be a favorite musician— while the string embellishments in the song make it sound more complicated than it really is, you could play the chords (and maybe turn them into arpeggios) in the left hand, and figure out the melody with your right hand!

Or you could look for lead sheets for this song, of course.

That Doggie in the Window- Patti Page

The same idea in the melody repeats often, and the rhythm is an easy one to swing with. Plus, it was the third most popular song in 1953— you can’t go wrong with this one!

Jailhouse Rock- Elvis Presley

Another winner of a song, AND I already found a lead sheet you can purchase for it!

Not only is it one you probably are familiar with already, but it’s one anyone will enjoy hearing you play.

And if none of those were what you were looking for, here’s a piano mashup of many songs from the fifties, maybe you can borrow an idea from this video:

I hope that helps! 

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