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The Wedding Jam Blog

Unforgettable stories from unforgettable Weddings.

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Nine Jiving Rock n Roll Classics!

One of the trickiest aspects of putting music together for your big night is the sense that you have to try and please everybody. You can't always please everybody all of the time, but at the very least you can please most of the people most of the time!

We never want to leave out our older relatives and family members, so with that in mind here are nine vintage rock & roll tunes from the 50s and early 60s to get everybody jiving...!

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The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There

Might as well start with the masters! At the start of their career, the Fab Four pilfered and even flat out plagiarised elements of 50s rock n roll, from the likes of Chuck Berry and Little Richard. It catapulted them to stardom, before they moved seamlessly through different looks and sounds. 'I Saw Her Standing There' was the opening track from their debut album, and it absolutely rattles along, right from Macca's unmistakable '1, 2, 3, 4!' intro. A guaranteed floorfiller.

Chuck Berry - You Never Can Tell

Simply the perfect rock n roll wedding song - from its opening line, to the insanely infectious chorus. Nailed-on to have all manner of couples trying - and probably failing, but who cares - to recreate Travolta and Thurman's iconic scene in Pulp Fiction. It goes to show you never can tell!

The Tornadoes - Bustin' Surfboards

Also given a new lease of life in the early 90s courtesy of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, this instrumental - at the time - represented a new and vital sub-genre of rock & roll (surf music) and a sub-culture all of its own in surf culture. Surf music was and remains instantly recognisable, with its big, twangy and reverb heavy guitars. This one will have 'em all rushing to the dancefloor.

The Beach Boys - Surfin' USA

Surfin' USA opens with that distinctive riff completely nicked from Chuck Berry (see below), which they also nicked for other songs. You have to admire that kind of chutzpah!

Continuing the surf theme - even though none of the Beach Boys actually surfed - this is one hell of a jive, embellished even further by the boys' heavenly and unmistakable harmonies. A feelgood banger fit for any wedding!

Little Richard - Tutti Frutti

It would be remiss of us to leave the recently-departed Little Richard, of all people, off a rock & roll list. 'Tutti Frutti' - like so many classics of that era - blasts off with another instantly recognisable few seconds. "A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, A-lop-bam-boom!" - it seems to say so little, and yet it says so much. Jive time!

Carl Perkins - Blue Suede Shoes

Considered one of the very first rockabilly tunes, Carl Perkins - a hero of George Harrison's - wrote and performed this himself. A year after its 1955 release, a certain Elvis Presley covered it and made it the first track of his debut album. We'll take this version, though - a true original and one of the earliest rock & roll anthems.

Chuck Berry - Roll Over Beethoven

Later covered by The Beatles with George on lead vocals, this Chuck Berry original is still fresh and lively as hell. It blasts off with that signature Chuck Berry riff - a riff he used several times, most notably on Johnny B Goode a couple of years later, and ripped off on a number of early Beach Boys hits too. Dig these rhythm and blues!

The Coasters - Yakety Yak

These dudes blended doo wop, rock and roll and rhythm and blues with elements of comedy, and 'Yakety Yak' is all of that in a nutshell. In the song, a kid is getting a telling off from his parents for not doing his chores - something most of the adults in the room on your big night will be able to relate to!

The Champs - Tequila

A great drinking song and a great wedding song. This Mexican-flavoured instrumental from 1958 has appeared on movie soundtracks galore, helping to make it an iconic jive for the ages. An absolute certainty to get your well-oiled guests, of all generations, moving and shaking. TEQUILA!