29 Best 50s Love Songs

Best 50s Love Songs

The best love songs of the 1950s evoke the feeling of young love and the hope of what's to come. They are songs of innocence and dreams, with a touch of nostalgia.

Read on as we explore the best 50s love songs, whether it’s for daydreaming about a loved one or dancing the night away hand in hand.

1. “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley

Song year: 1956

“Love Me Tender” was one of Elvis Presley's first big hits, and it was the theme of Elvis' first movie. The song appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show before its release, and RCA Records claimed to receive one million pre-orders for this track. It’s a simple song about a man's love for a woman.

2. “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino

Song year: 1956

“Blueberry Hill” is about lost love and regret. It is a sad song but also hopeful. The singer is hoping that his lost love will come back to him. Many artists recorded this song before Fats Domino, but his Rock & Roll version is the most popular one. It peaked at number 2 in the US and 6 in the UK.

3. “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” by Paul Anka

Song year: 1959

Paul Anka was a famous singer and songwriter in the 50s and 60s, and he wrote many hits, including “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.” The song was released in 1959 and quickly rose to the top of the charts. It is a slow, romantic ballad about how girls at record hops would always have their heads on boys' shoulders.

4. “Love Letters in the Sand” by Pat Boone

Song year: 1957

Pat Boone was a popular singer in the 50s and 60s. He was known for his clean-cut image and recording covers of popular songs.

“Love Letters in the Sand” is about a couple who writes love letters to each other in the sand until the man's girlfriend is unfaithful. The waves eventually wash away the letters. Andy Williams also recorded a version of this track.

5. “In the Still of the Night” by The Five Satins

Song year:

The Five Satins were a popular doo-wop group in the 50s. Their song “In the Still of the Night” is about a young man’s love for a woman.

The song didn’t find success right away, peaking at only number 24 on the national pop charts. However, its popularity has steadily increased over the years through various covers and movie appearances, establishing the song as one of the best coming from that music genre.

6.  “To Know Him Is To Love Him” by The Teddy Bears

Song year:

This song was Phil Spector's first job as a producer, and he also wrote it with Herb Newman. The lyrics are about how Spector's father died when he was young and how much he loved him.

Spector’s group, the Teddy Bears, recorded the track in just twenty minutes. It became a huge global success, topping US and UK charts.

7. “Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)” by The Penguins

Song year:

The Penguins were a popular doo-wop group in the 50s. They had a hit with “Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine).” The song was released in 1954 and quickly rose to the top of the charts. This song was recorded in a garage and sold over four million copies on an independent record label.

8. “Dream Lover” by Bobby Darin

Song year:

Bobby Darin wrote this song about a man who wishes his fantasy girl to become real so he doesn't have to dream alone. Darin was careful to avoid any sexual innuendo in the lyrics because disapproval from parents during this era could sink a pop artist. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka played the piano on Dream Lover.

9. “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke

Song year:

Sam Cooke's brother Charles wrote this song to sell over two million copies. A gospel label initially signed Sam, but the label's owner thought this song's secular theme would alienate religious fans. The label released Cooke from his contract, and he went on to launch his incredible career. Aretha Franklin released a cover of You Send Me in 1968.

10. “Bye Bye Love” by The Everly Brothers

Song year:

This top-five hit describes the loneliness felt by a man after his girlfriend finds someone new. Many artists rejected this song before the Everley Brothers took a chance. The Bryants, a songwriting duo, penned this song along with the Everley Brothers' hits “Wake Up Little Susie” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream.”

11. “I've Got You Under My Skin” by Frank Sinatra

Song year:

Cole Porter wrote this song in 1936, and Sinatra began performing it in 1946. The most famous version of Sinatra's 1956 recording with Nelson Riddle and his orchestra. Many artists have covered this track, including Michael Bublé, who won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his 2004 cover.

12. “I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos

Song year:

This song came out in 1934, but The Flamingos' 1959 version is the most well-known. It reached the number 11 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Peggy Lee are some of the artists who have also recorded this song.

13. “Love Potion No. 9” by The Clovers

Song year:

The Clovers were a popular doo-wop group in the 50s. They had a hit with Love Potion No. 9. The song was released in 1958 and quickly rose to the top of the charts. It is a light-hearted, fun song about a man who finds a love potion and uses it to attract the woman he loves.

14. “A Thousand Miles Away” by The Heartbeats

Song year:

The Heartbeats were a popular doo-wop group in the 50s. This song hit number five on the R&B charts. The lyrics are about a man in love with a woman who lives far away. He is dreaming of the day when they can be together again.

15. “Sea of Love” by Phil Phillips

Song year:

Phil Phillips wrote this song while working as a bellhop at a hotel in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He recorded it with his band, The Twilights, and it became a number one hit on the R&B charts. Artists like Patsy Cline and Robert Plant also recorded this song.

16. “That'll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly (1957)

"That'll Be the Day" by Buddy Holly (1957)

Song year:

Buddy Holly wrote this song with his band, The Crickets. It was a number one smash hit in the UK and reached number three on the US Billboard charts. The song is about a heartbroken man after his girlfriend leaves him.

In addition, this was the first song that Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon recorded in 1958.

17. “A Teenager in Love” by Dion and The Belmonts

Song year: 1959

Dion and The Belmonts were a popular doo-wop group in the late 50s. Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman wrote this song, reaching number five on the Billboard charts. Dion recorded this song when he was just 18 years old.

18. “The Great Pretender” by The Platters

Song year: 1955

The Platters were a popular doo-wop group in the 50s. This song was released in 1955 and quickly rose to the top of the charts. It is a slow, sentimental ballad. The lyrics are about a man hiding his heartbreak and trying to appear happy in front of the woman he loves.

19. “All Shook Up” Elvis Presley

Song year: 1957

All Shook Up was written by Otis Blackwell, but Elvis received songwriting credit per the insistence of his manager. It was a number one hit in the US and UK. The song is about a man feeling love for the first time. He is all shaken up and doesn't know what to do.

20. “I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash

Song year: 1956

Johnny Cash wrote “I Walk the Line” backstage in a single night as a pledge of devotion to his wife, whom he had recently married. It’s a song about staying true and loyal to your loved ones.

It took a few tries with moderate chart success for the song to finally catch on fire and become his first top-ranked hit on the Billboard charts.

21. “16 Candles” by The Crests

Song year: 1958

Luther Dixon and Allyson Khent wrote 16 Candles. The Crests initially recorded it, and The Stray Cats released another famous version in the 80s. The song is about a boy in love with a girl celebrating her sweet sixteen birthday. He is hoping that she will notice him.

22. “When I Fall in Love” by Nat King Cole

Song year: 1956

Many artists have recorded this song, including Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, and Celine Dion. Nat King Cole's version is one of the most well-known renditions. Following its release in late 1956, it hit number two in the UK. This traditional love song is about a man's love for a woman and willingness to do anything for her.

23. “Venus” by Frankie Avalon

Song year: 1959

This was Avalon's first number one hit. The lyrics are about a man praying to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, to help him find the woman he loves. Avalon had another number one hit with Why in 1961.

24. “The Twelfth of Never” by Johnny Mathis

Song year: 1957

The lyrics of this song describe the never-ending love a man has for a woman. He states that he will love her for eternity. Though Mathis didn't like the song when he first heard it, he recorded it anyway, and it became a huge success. It was his first hit song, making it to number nine on the pop charts.

25. “Book of Love” by The Monotones

Song year:

The Monotones were a doo-wop group from New Jersey. The group considered this song a joke because the melody comes from a toothpaste commercial, but people who heard it loved it.

Book Of Love splits the narrative into four “chapters,” explaining to a man how to have a successful relationship with the woman he loves. It reached the number five spot on the Billboard charts in 1958.

26. “Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes

Song year: 1954

Pat Ballard wrote Mr. Sandman and The Chordettes recorded it in 1954. It remained at number one on the Billboard charts for seven weeks, and many artists have covered the song over the years. The song is about a woman dreaming of her perfect man and how he will come to her in her sleep.

27. “That's Amore” by Dean Martin

Song year: 1953

That's Amore is an Italian phrase that means “that's love.” Harry Warren and Jack Brooks wrote this song. Dean Martin recorded this song in 1953, quickly becoming one of his signature songs. The lyrics are about how love makes you do crazy things that you would never do otherwise.

28. “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers

Song year: 1956

Frankie Lymon was only thirteen years old when he recorded this song with The Teenagers. It was a number one hit in the US and UK. The song is about how love makes people do foolish things and how it doesn't last forever. The single appeared without notice, so the group was unaware the record was out until they heard people singing it.

29. “Little Darlin’” by The Diamonds

Song year: 1957

This song by The Diamonds is about a young man pining for the love of his life. He is wondering why she doesn't love him back, and he is hoping that she will change her mind. The song was a huge hit, and it has been covered by many artists over the years. Little Diamond remained at number 2 on the US charts for eight weeks.

Top Love Songs Of The 50s, Final Thoughts

These 50s love songs are a great representation of the music from that era. Many artists have covered these songs, and they remain popular today. They are about love in all forms, from young to everlasting. In addition, melodies are catchy and timeless.

So whether you wish to slow dance or celebrate love with a fast-paced song, 50s love songs make for an ideal choice.

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