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The Essential Songs Of The Essential Decade: 1963

I am currently creating a list of the "Essential Songs" of each year in the 1960s. The song lists come from a variety of sources in the fields of pop, rock, soul, and country music. The basic criteria is simple and, of course, subjective – the song has to stand the test of time as an enjoyable piece of music. Historical relevance comes secondary to the basic listener quality test. In 1963, the Beatles were beginning to conquer the U.K., Bob Dylan's artistic vision was becoming a reality, and Brian Wilson developed a new form of timeless pop music.

Act Naturally, Buck Owens

Baby, I Love You, The Ronettes
Be My Baby, The Ronettes
Be True to Your School, The Beach Boys
The Bird’s the Word, The Rivingtons
Blowin’ in the Wind, Bob Dylan
Can I Get A Witness, Marvin Gaye
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Darlene Love
Detroit City, Bobby Bare
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, Bob Dylan
End of the World, Skeeter Davis
Fingertips (Part 2), Stevie Wonder
Foolish Little Girl, The Shirelles
From Me to You, The Beatles
A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall, Bob Dylan
Heat Wave, Martha and the Vandellas
Hello Stranger, Barbara Lewis
He’s So Fine, The Chiffons
I Only Want to Be With You, Dusty Springfield
I Saw Her Standing There, The Beatles
I Want A Love I Can See, The Temptations
I Want to Hold Your Hand, The Beatles
I Will Follow Him, Little Peggy March
In My Room, The Beach Boys
If You Need Me, Wilson Pickett
It’s All Right, The Impressions
Just One Look, Doris Troy
Louie Louie, The Kingsmen
Love’s Gonna Live Here, Buck Owens
Mean Old Woman, Jerry Lee Lewis
On Broadway, The Drifters
One Fine Day, The Chiffons
Pain in My Heart, Otis Redding
Part Time Love, Little Johnny Taylor
Pipeline, The Chantays
Please, Please Me, The Beatles
Prisoner of Love, James Brown
Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash
She Loves You, The Beatles
Six Days on the Road, Dave Dudley
So Much in Love, The Tymes
Surf City, Jan and Dean
Surfer Girl, The Beach Boys
Surfin’ Bird, The Trashmen
Surfin’ U.S.A., The Beach Boys
Sweet Dreams, Patsy Cline
Then He Kissed Me, The Crystals
Today I Met The Boy I’m Going to Marry, Darlene Love
When You Walk in the Room, Jackie DeShannon
You Don’t Own Me, Lesley Gore

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