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Rev-Up Radio: Car Songs of the Swingin' 60s


The 1960s were a time of change, of rock n’ roll. The automotive industry was changing as well, with an emphasis on muscle and pony cars. Mustangs exploded onto the scene and appealed to a generation who wanted to rebel against the conservative views of their parents. The music of the time reflected this new attitude, with acts like The Beatles and Bob Dylan rising to superstardom.


Rev-Up Radio is a series that combines music and cars from a certain era. It’ll highlight the best tracks to listen to when you’re driving in your classic car and want to relive music of the past. To celebrate the 1960s and the emergence of hot rod rock, here’s a playlist of songs that captures the time.


Jaguar And Thunderbird by Chuck Berry

Jaguar And Thunderbird by Chuck Berry is a great song to start with because it personifies the genesis of the car song. The song is an ideal choice for Jaguar and Thunderbird fans, as it’s about the two vehicles locked in a race together. It can be played during a long drive on the motorway.


From A Buick 6 by Bob Dylan

It wouldn’t be a 60s playlist without having a bit of Bob Dylan. From A Buick 6 is a bluesy song about someone riding in a Buick and thinking about the person they love. The track is great for a romantic drive with two people in the car.


A Tiger In My Tank by Jim Nesbitt

Comparing an engine to a tiger is a good metaphor, and playing A Tiger In The Tank would work in any kind of fast-paced car.


Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett

Sure to appeal to Mustang owners, Mustang Sally depicts a woman who won’t slow down for anyone. There’s a rebellious edge to the song that echoes the defiance the decade it was recorded in. Mustang Sally has been covered many times, but Wilson Pickett’s version is arguably the most popular.


Drive My Car by The Beatles

With a distinctive Motown bass line, Drive My Car is a perfect song for a road trip. Paul Mccartney said he and John Lennon were thinking of cars, chauffeurs and open-top Cadillacs in LA when they came up with the tune. It has a fun, high-energy vibe that’ll keep you chugging along, even when stuck in traffic.


Route 66 by The Rolling Stones

Named for the famous road stretching from LA to Chicago, Route 66 is ideal for a long journey. The song was composed by American songwriter Bobby Troup, and covered by The Rolling Stones on their debut album. This version features heavy guitar riffs and a stop-start pace that fits with the numerous American towns that are mentioned in the lyrics.


Little Honda by The Beach Boys

Little Honda was one of the most popular tunes to come out of the hot rod music era. The song is about a couple going on a road trip in a new Honda. There’s a sense of freedom in the lyrics that makes you think anything is possible.


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