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Groovy Prom Songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s

Culture | December 7, 2018

Denver Post Archives MAY 11, 1976, MAY 16, 1976 Colored lanterns glimmered softly, music blared invitingly, and East High students in party dress bounced to the 'bump' at Brown Palace ballroom prom Credit: Denver Post, Inc. (Denver Post via Getty Images)

High school proms are and have been an exciting American tradition for many high school students. Typically, proms are exclusively for upper class-men and have historically been considered a rite of passage of sorts. Statistical data collected by Statistical Brain Research Institute has shown that approximately 3 to 5 percent of American teenagers will lose their virginity on prom night if they haven’t already. Planned or not, the numbers don’t lie, folks. This is modern day data not to be confused with proms the way they were initially intended.  

An Early Prom (Google)

The word, prom, is actually a shorter version of the word, promenade, which is a fancy way to refer to a “public walk.”

The tradition of the high school prom originated in the mid to late 1800s. Universities and colleges in the Northeastern part of the U.S. sponsored these events called promenades to endorse and/or promote the rules of etiquette for young people. Each year’s graduating seniors were encouraged to attend the event and show off their best manners. Each of the attendees was on notice that he/she would be under intense scrutiny to evaluate their social graces.

The White House Prom 1975 (historybyzim.com)

Eventually the word, promenade was shortened to simply, prom.

Enough about the formality of the prom. Since its inception, the prom has become a more relaxed social event. Proms are still considered to be a promenade but for a completely different reason now. Fellow attendees do not have social etiquette on their minds anymore. The promenade is now a showcase of hair, nails and designer attire.

From mischievous antics to pop culture music, the proms from the groovy era were not without their charm.

1970s Prom Picture (vintagetex.com)

The way things stand today, after the wardrobe dilemma is solved, the next most important concern of the prom is the music! The groovy era was an incredible period of time that is well known for its iconic artists and classic feel-good music.  Below you will find a list of some of the most popular prom songs from the groovy era.

1960s Groovy Prom Songs:

Sonny And Cher (quotesgram.com)

  • I Got You Babe - Sonny And Cher
  • And I Love Her - The Beatles
  • Theme From A Summer Place - Percy Faith
  • Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
  • To Sir With Love - Lulu

The Shirelles (greatamericanthings.net)

  • Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles
  • My Way - Frank Sinatra
  • Young Girl - Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
  • He’s So Fine - The Chiffons
  • Happy Together - The Turtles
  • 1970s Prom Songs:
  • Baby I Love Your Way - Peter Frampton
  • I Go Crazy - Paul Davis
  • Always & Forever - Heatwave

Bread (rollingstone.com)

  • I Wanna Make It With You - Bread
  • Colour My World - Chicago
  • Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
  • Dream On - Aerosmith

Captain And Tennille (jacksonson.com)

  • Do That To Me One More Time – Captain And Tennille
  • Fooled Around & Fell In Love - Elvin Bishop

These were the songs that resonated with teenagers in the groovy era and defined them in some ways. Thinking back to this groovy time in history, sometimes it seems like it was a million years ago and sometimes it seems like just yesterday!

Tags: proms, groovy era, 1960s, 1970s songs, music, social ettiquete

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.