No matter your taste in music, there’s something about an old-school love song that will instantly get you in your feelings. That’s because this style of music is absolutely timeless, appeals to multiple generations, and has the ability to evoke feelings of nostalgia with its heartfelt lyrics and captivating medleys.
“These songs have stood the test of time because of the purity,” says Keenan Daniels (professionally known as “The Million Dolla Man”), a DJ based in Tennessee. “Today’s music doesn’t leave much to the imagination. However, songs from what I consider to be ‘back in the day’ definitely contain a sense of innocence, sweetness, romance, and purity when it came to singing about love.”
From “My Girl” by The Temptations to “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder and “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, there’s an array of tunes to choose from that will pull at the heartstrings of everyone at your celebration. These tracks are also a great choice for the father-child dance or mother-child dance, especially if your parents refer to old-school love songs as their favorite type of music.
Ahead, we put together a list of the best old-school love songs that are sure to create unforgettable memories at your wedding. Read on for more.
An Introduction to Old-School Love Songs
“An old-school love song can be defined by anything that was popular when you were growing up,” explains Daniels. “A throwback song to me at the age of 42 is completely different than to a person who [is] in their 60s or 70s, or someone who’s in their 20s!” Simply put, as people get older, the idea of what’s considered “old school” can change.
With that in mind, however, some artists are universally accepted as “old school,” regardless of the decade you were born in and where you grew up. According to Daniels, artists like The Temptations, The Righteous Brothers, Earth Wind & Fire, Hall & Oates, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson “will forever remain evergreen,” and will always be a hit at any wedding.
Historical and Cultural Context of Old-School Love Songs
Though this genre of music only exists when you look back in time, if you pay attention to the type of music that’s popular today, it’s evident that these songs have served as the inspiration for many modern artists. More specifically, the melodies and arrangements of old-school love songs have been sampled and incorporated into new tracks across every genre, from pop and R&B to rock and hip-hop.
Interested in adding a few old-school love songs to your must-play list? Ahead, here are a handful of tracks that Daniels says will resonate with people across every generation.