Halloween Party Playlists – Moldy Oldies

Music provides a solid foundation for the best parties and Halloween parties are no different. But there are so many different kinds of “Halloween” oriented music – it would never be appropriate to put them all on the same party tape. And furthermore, some songs might be obvious to one person but obscure to another. This thread is about various different kinds of music for different kinds of Halloween parties.

Different kinds of Halloween party? Why not? There are clearly different styles of music and a whole party could be designed around these styles to create a distinctive and memorable Halloween party that isn’t just the same old costume party.

The signature piece for this style of Halloween party would be the Theme Song to “The Munsters.” There are two totally different songs, the first one is fine but the one from the second seasons totally rocked. Another obvious track would be “You put a Spell on Me” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins… or heck, for that matter, just about ANYTHING by this master of bone-through-the-nose crooning. Other tracks to include would be any version of “Dead Man’s Curve” by Jan and Dean. There is also a whole crop of new psycho-billy bands that would fit with this category quite well.

If the Moldy Oldie playlist was extended out to a whole Halloween party theme, costumes should be restricted to 50’s era horror movies or perhaps any horror movie that could have been seen in a drive-in theatre. For instance, any monster or noun that completes this phrase: “I was a Teenaged…” Snacks could be popcorn and that chalky orange pop that all the drive-ins used to serve.

Here is a short list of songs but please, help me out here. What are other essential tracks for a “Moldy Oldie” Halloween Party? What are other snacks or decoration ideas?

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4 Responses to Halloween Party Playlists – Moldy Oldies

  1. Elsa L says:

    I don’t know how, but you’ve overlooked at least two essential songs.

    How could you have a Moldy Oldie party without “Monster Mash”? Written in 1962 by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and originally recorded by his band, The Cordials, the song reached #1 in the Billboard pop charts in 1962.

    Don’t forget another incredibly popular novelty song, “The Purple People Eater”. It was written and performed by Sheb Wooley and reached #1 in the Billboard pop charts in 1958.

    As for decorations, I consider orange and black streamers hung around the light fixtures to be essential. They create the right sort of shadowy atmosphere to be twisting to the oldies.

  2. Freddy says:

    If I had one of these parties, the decorations would just HAVE to be some of my collection of vintage kid Halloween costumes. I’ve got some that are nearly in rags and the tattered condition makes them even creepier!

    And I think if you’d thought about this just a couple seconds longer you’d have realized that classic monster movie posters would also be kind of cool. If you can’t find or afford a good assortment, do a web search for images, enlarge them a bit and print them on a color printer.

    And the last idea that pops in my mind is that you could get a digital projector and project some the crappy old monster movies. If you don’t have any empty wallspace, project on the ceiling! I remember trick or treating to a house that was showing Super-8 movies on the window shade so they could be seen (in reverse) outside.

    Cool idea for the playlists by the way.

    Grim Gnome replies: Now that you mention those creepy kid’s costumes from days gone by, PLEASE send in some photos of them. Or heck, if ANYONE has photos of nightmarish nostalgia, share!

    And you give me an idea for decorating the food table, one based on MY collections. I could have some of my old Aurora models. They all seem to have an odd pose like they’re reaching out for a hug or something. It’d be perfect to orient them so it looks like they’re reaching out for a hand full of chips.

  3. Freddy says:

    And if it comes to “moldie oldie” music, seems to me that you overlooked CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising” and incidentally, Creedence also does a pretty snazzy version of “I put a Spell on you” I mean it’s not Screamin’ Jay but it’s not crap either.

    One could argue that Creedence ONLY did covers but that would be baiting a flame war, wouldn’t it? (grin?) But you’re 100% correct. “Bad Moon Rising” is totally appropriate. Incidentally, there’s also a cool cover version of “Bad Moon Rising” done by that trio of Goth heart-throb cellists, Rasputina. I’m sure they’ll pop up on some other play list

  4. Elsa L says:

    I thought of another song too that haunted my childhood. “Lil Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and Pharaoh’s included lines like “Hey there little Red Riding Hood, You sure are looking good. You’re everything that a big bad wolf could want.” It’s a rather predatory little ditty with some howls added for good measure.

    Grim Gnome replies: Excellent suggestions, Elsa. Obscure and appropriate… and with full citations! You’re whiz kid in the college of haunted musical knowledge.

    I only wish that Wolfman Jack had been an actual wolfman.