One of my most frequently asked music questions as a vintage wedding blogger is “how do I choose vintage-inspired music that will fit my theme but still get people out of their seats?” Building up a party atmosphere can be tricky at the best of times, but when the success of your party relies on your guests knowing the songs and being able to dance to them, adding in a vintage element can seem impossible.
Luckily, we have an expert on hand to put this question (but not your guests) to bed once and for all! Mark van Den Berg from Mighty Fine Entertainment is an award-winning DJ. His years of experience have seen him run the show at every kind of wedding imaginable. Mark has kindly put together his personal top twenty favourite vintage songs that cross genres and will keep up the party vibe.
Image © Satureyes
The Top 20 Vintage Wedding Songs
When one talks of vintage music the options are vast – swing to R&B, rock ‘n’ roll to jazz etc. This list dips into these genres and gives a little flavour of the possibilities. Vintage themes don’t need to just stick to old music – many new bands/artists are producing vintage-inspired sounds such Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Swing Republic, Imelda May, Puppini Sisters and many more. Many people find it easy to go with obvious party pleasers, such as the Beatles, The Pet Shop Boys, the Rolling Stones etc. but earlier eras can be harder to navigate. In no particular order, here are 20 well-known and less well-known tried and tested songs we have had the pleasure of jiving to at vintage-themed weddings…
Buddy Holly – Not Fade Away
Big Joe Turner – Shake Rattle Roll
Coasters – Along Came Jones
Drifters – Honey Love
Chuck Berry – Never Can Tell
Link Wray – Rumble
Johnny Burnette Trio – Honey Hush
Frank Sinatra – Get Happy
Hank Mizell – Jungle Rock
Fats Waller – Chant of the Groove
Louis Jordan – Caledonia
Billy Fury – Wondrous Place
Dinah Washington – Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby
Doris Day – Que Sera Sera
Bobby Darin – Beyond The Sea
Ruth Brown – Daddy, Daddy
Louis Prima – Fever
Varetta Dillard – So Many Ways (To Love You)
Smiley Lewis – She’s Got Me Hook Line & Sinker
James Brown Band – Chonnie on Chon
Mighty Fine Entertainment’s top vintage playlist tips
♥ If you’ve themed your wedding by era, for example the fifties, have soft music playing during quieter times, like when the meal is served, to set the tone for the evening.
♥ Stick to tried and tested classics that everybody will have at least heard before.
♥ Songs that have been covered by modern artists will create instant recognition and get people on their feet.
♥ Ease through the eras and build up to more modern tunes that people can dance to.
♥ Go the extra mile and teach people a dance from your chosen era to really get people in the right vibe.
Mighty Fine Entertainment was established in 2006 by internationally-acclaimed DJ, Mark van den Berg (aka Mark Luvdup). Mark – together with his team of hand-picked professional DJs, are leading wedding DJ hire and mobile disco providers in London and the South-East.