Year 1956, seventh part of the ten planned to conclude with a final list of 100 of the most notable songs in the history of music, especially within the 1950s decade. In this article, you will discover the songs of 1956 that are part of that list. 16 tracks. That’s enough for a good compilation for the car, if that’s still a thing, recording CDs.
Once you’ve finished listening to the 1956 hit songs on this list, since you will find Elvis Presley first hit in 1956 but also many more hits, you can move on to discover our songs from the 1950s, or you can revisit and explore the songs that comprised the previous years of this decade. You can do this through the links we provide below, so you can review the entire decade from the beginning:
Playlist with 1956 music and of all the decade
Top songs of 1956 in English
Carl Perkins – Blue Suede Shoes
This title has many versions. I’ve chosen this one because Elvis Presley already dominates this year quite a bit, and also because, in my opinion, Carl Perkins’ version is, if not as good as Elvis’s, very close to his level. You can search Google for both versions and choose for yourself.
In any case, the most striking thing about Blue Suede Shoes is the lyrics. It says you can do anything except touch his blue suede shoes. An interesting set of values, compared to what we have nowadays.
Chuck Berry – Roll Over Beethoven
One of the most iconic songs in the history of music, not just rock, although it stands out as one of the most energetic songs ever sung throughout the history of music. Covered endlessly and featured in numerous films, Roll Over Beethoven still sounds as fresh as it must have on the first day. The surprise effect may have worn off, but it still belongs in the top tier of the best in history.
Chuck Berry regained public recognition thanks to Quentin Tarantino, at least in Spain, with a lesser-known song, but one that also remains in popular culture as one of the greatest songs in history, especially among the more jovial and brazen ones.
Doris Day – Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)
And here, almost the opposite of the previous song, perhaps youthful but not quite brazen. I can’t help but remember Ned Flanders singing this song while he heads towards the end of the world that didn’t happen. But in reality, “Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” is a song composed for the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” also from the same year. Initially, they might not seem to fit together, but you’ll see, if you haven’t seen the film, it might actually make sense.
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel
Enter the Elvis Presley festival. Three of his most famous works, “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” and “Love Me Tender.” Three different facets of Elvis: the romantic, the energetic, and the somewhat aggressive Elvis. A legend, who ended as he did: quite poorly and in a rather undignified manner for the legend he had created for himself, although I don’t think he would have noticed.
Elvis Presley – Hound Dog
That face he had, good thing he didn’t have Facebook.
Elvis Presley – Love Me Tender
He also had a good set of legs, but you can’t see that in the images I’ve included.
Frank Sinatra – I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Frank Sinatra rocked the 1950s, even before that, of course. For this decade, we’ve only selected “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” to give more prominence to one of the most pleasant songs to listen to. Later, during the subsequent decades, he would sing the iconic “My Way,” “Somethin’ Stupid,” and “Strangers In The Night.” He wouldn’t rest until the ’90s, and even a decade earlier, he offered some of the best songs of the 1980s.
This shows that there are no artists like these anymore; both Elvis and Sinatra became beloved figures not just for making good songs, but because their music was infused with their personalities. Beyond styles, artistic evolutions, or the passage of time, they remain intact, with their legends alive and stronger than before.
Gene Vincent – Be Bop A Lula
How easy it was back then to give songs titles like these in the ’50s. It didn’t matter, we were becoming young on the radio and television, the pop culture was beginning. Be bop a lula, she’s my baby…
Harry Belafonte – Banana Boat (Day-O)
You see, another song that nowadays you’d say, “How is it possible that this exists?” But if you’re told it’s from the ’50s, it’s more impressive. Exotic sounds and enjoyable music to listen to.
Ah, yes, it appears in Beetlejuice, one of the best translations of a title in history. Almost as good as “Gotcha,” translating accurately but maintaining the “Gotcha” as if it were something else.
Jackie Wilson – Reet Petite
According to sources, “Reet Petite” might be from 1957. It’s possible, but I’ve decided to keep it in this year because that’s how I found it the first time, how I discovered it for myself, when almost a decade ago, I set out to find old music that fit the style of music I liked back then. Of course, what happened is that my taste in music changed since then.
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put A Spell On You
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was quite the character. Indeed. A singer, actor, and composer, he’s gone down in history mainly because of this track, for which he is the author and where his unique voice and performance make his version the most special of all (without diminishing the contribution of other versions, like Nina Simone’s, for example). Try watching some of his videos or live performances. Theatrical and always accompanied by outrageous makeup and horrifying costumes on stage (skulls, gothic attire, and voodoo symbols).
Top songs of 1956 in Italian, French and Spanish
Aurelio Fierro – Guaglione
An Italian music classic, often used for appliance commercials, for example.
Georges Brassens – Chanson Pour L’Auvergnat
A classic from French music of the 1940s and 1950s. We already know him at Muros de Absenta from previous years, so there’s not much more we can say about him. “Chanson Pour L’Auvergnat” is a bit different from the rest of his discography, yet it’s also one of the most defining of his style, because this man didn’t reinvent himself too much over the course of his career, and we can’t deny that. If you liked the previous tracks, you’ll like this one too.
Joselito – Campanera
“Campanera” has become a hipster anthem; don’t ask me why, perhaps because they’re looking for something to make fun of and dance to while drunk, something to remember later, years down the line, like, “Remember when we sang ‘Campanera’ in that tent? It was so much fun.” You’d have to travel back to 2007, to the Summercase festival held in Boadilla del Monte, to relive that strange feeling that arises when you hear Joselito two minutes before The Pigeon Detectives concert.
I won’t talk about this child prodigy’s unfortunate growth, because enough people have made fun of him everywhere.
Léo Ferré – La Grande Vie
One of the greatest composers of French chanson. With big hair, too, towards the end of his life.
“La Grande Vie” sounds so much like the past century that it brings nostalgia for something none of us have actually lived.
Nat King Cole – Quizás, Quizás, Quizás
Nat King Cole is the king. A genius. He regained global fame thanks to the film “In the Mood for Love” by Wong Kar-wai. “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás” is a good example of how he’s not just famous for being the first Black man on American television. All the credit goes to him for having one of the best Spanish songs of all time.
Renato Carosone – Tu Vuo’ Fa’ L’Americano
Enter the link to the video and read the lyrics, because we haven’t changed much, just that now we say these things with a younger face, but the baseball caps with the visor up, the pants with the label on the backside, and everything else remains as always.
Another legendary Italian artist who also regained fame thanks to a movie, at first, only to lose it a bit later due to a “chunda chunda” version that came out a few years ago and was played everywhere until the end of the world, or until that song got burned out.
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.