Coming up with a list of the top 10 oldies karaoke songs was something of a challenge for me because there is such an incredible library of great oldies songs to choose from. The term ‘oldies’ obviously refers to the age of the songs in question, however I prefer to call them classics. Each song on this list should be instantly recognizable by anyone with even just a passing knowledge of music history. These are songs that transcend music genres, and are accesible to anyone, regardless of their taste in music. However, not all classic oldies songs make great karaoke songs. There are other factors that landed these particular tunes on the list of the top 10 oldies songs to sing for karaoke.
A song must be relatively easy to sing along to. Let’s face it, not everyone who steps up to the microphone has a great set of pipes. Songs that require a narrow vocal range, and have reasonably slow pacing are ideal for the less talented singers out there. “Reet Petite” by Jackie Wilson is a fantastic song, but I don’t think too many karaoke singers out there can hit Jackie’s higher notes. “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers is often listed as one of the greatest karaoke songs, but how many people out there can really sing it well?
Can the audience sing along as well? Karaoke isn’t a solo activity. There is an audience to consider, and while they might appreciate your singing ability, what really keeps them entertained is the ability to participate in the fun. Oldies karaoke songs have a built-in advantage in that they are generally well recognized by the general populace. By choosing songs that everyone knows you’ll have the room clapping, stomping and singing along with you.
So, as you can see, coming up with a list of the top 10 oldies karaoke songs is about more than just choosing the best oldies songs of all time. Karaoke is about fun and participation as much as it is about the music itself. That said, here are my picks for the top 10 oldies songs to sing for karaoke:
10 – Dion – Runaround Sue – Dion’s songs are among the most memorable from days gone by, and everyone will be familiar with this classic. The Wanderer is another good Dion karaoke track, but Runaround Sue is just a little better in my estimation.
9 – The Andrews Sisters or Chordettes – Mr. Sandman – This golden oldie is karaoke staple. It can be sung individually, or as a group for the shy singers in the crowd. Girls, you make sure you have a guy around for the “Yessssss?” part. Not too many women can hit that deep baritone.
8 – Bobby Darin – Mack the Knife – Was there any singer smoother than Bobby Darin? Mack the Knife is his signature hit and a no-brainer for a spot on the list of the top 10 oldies karaoke songs. Want to try more of Bobby Darin’s work? Splish Splash and Beyond the Sea are also great karaoke tunes.
7 – Elvis Presley – Hound Dog – To be honest, this entire list could have conceivably been comprised of Elvis Presley karaoke songs. One of the main reasons The King’s music remains so popular to this day is because it is so easy and so much fun to sing along to. You will have to belt this one out because you’ll barely be able to hear yourself otherwise when the audience starts to sing along.
6 – Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Were Made For Walkin’ – A little bit of a country flavor to this list of the top 10 oldies karaoke songs. Nancy Sinatra’s smoky voice isn’t easy to emulate, but the limited vocal range of this song allows karaoke fans to at least put up a passable version. This will get all the ladies in the crowd singing along for sure.
5 – The Beatles – Twist and Shout – No list of the greatest oldies karaoke songs would be complete without at least one classic hit from the Fab Four. Twist and Shout might not be the easiest song to sing along to when it comes to vocal range, but all you need to do is belt it out at the top of your lungs and your audience will be too busy doing the same to critique you for perfect pitch. Make sure to do your best Ferris Bueller impression for this one.
4 – John Travolta and Olivia Newton John – Summer Nights – Though maybe not as classic as some of the other songs on this list, few can deny this song from the movie Grease is one of the most fun sing-along karaoke songs in any genre or from any era. A great one for group karaoke, and both the men and the women can get involved.
3 – Sonny and Cher – I Got You Babe – No good list of the top 10 oldies karaoke songs to sing along to would be complete without a duet, and though there have been many great ones over the years, the song that is best for karaoke is unquestionably Sonny and Cher’s signature hit. Though their relationship wouldn’t stand the test of time, this song certainly has.
2 – The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night – Many people might be surprised to see this song at such a high spot on a top 10 karaoke songs list. Try out this Beatle’s classic in front of a crowd and you will see just how many people love to sing this song. If there are any British people in your audience the reaction will be that much greater. A Hard Day’s Night is one of the best karaoke oldies period.
1 – Elvis Presley – Can’t Help Falling In Love – There are many great versions of this powerful ballad, but only The King’s version merits the top spot on the list of the top 10 oldies karaoke songs. While this one won’t get the audience singing along, it will get them on the dance floor, snuggled up to their significant others. It doesn’t have the high energy of some other karaoke songs on this list, but it is a great tune to cap off the night when everyone is starting to run low on energy.