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A Nostalgic Summer BBQ Playlist

A Nostalgic Summer BBQ Playlist | The Nostalgia Diaries Blog

Sittin’ with your friends as y’all reminisce
About the days growin’ up and the first person you kissed
And as I think back makes me wonder how the
smell from a grill can spark up nostalgia.

Summertime – D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

 * * *

What do you think of when you think of summer? Sunshine?  Vacation? Taking it slow? Swimming at the pool? Running through sprinklers? Playing at the park? Summer camp? Walking barefoot in the grass? Drinking out of a hose? Watching the clouds? Riding bikes? Laying out to work on your tan? Going to the movies? Chilling out watching MTV in a cool basement? Simply marveling at the wonder of the world?

Music has always been my constant companion. It always had a staring role in making my summers marvelous and memorable, and I’ll bet many of you can think back and remember the music that created the soundtrack to your summers past. What were the songs playing on the radio the summer you graduated high school? The songs playing the first summer you had a job? The songs they played at the swimming pool?  The songs your parents played when you were just a kid when you splashed around in your kiddie pool? The songs playing at backyard parties and picnics and neighborhood BBQ’s?

Just as you need some excellent summertime tunes for the pool, you need excellent tunes for all those summertime BBQ parties you will be hosting… or at least attending.

And if you are looking to stir up conversation at the next party, you can talk about your musical memories, because it turns out there is some pretty interesting science behind music and nostalgia; predictably, one person’s nostalgic summertime playlist may not stir up emotions and memories in someone else. But we bet that—like the smell from a grill—you’ll find something here that will spark up nostalgia for summers past. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find something new from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90’s, or 2000s to add to your 2017 summer playlist.

We’ve gathered together 136 songs that we think will get you feeling happy and alive and warm and ready to eat a burger or hot dog off the grill. But make sure you avoid the potato salad that’s been out a little too long, and listen to your mother and wait 30 minutes after eating before swimming.  Or not.

Happy grilling and happy summer, fellow Nostalgia Seekers!

 * * *

And speaking of picnics and BBQ’s, we collected a few recipes from across the web that look like they would be a delicious addition to any summer party. So bring the tunes and bring the food! If you try these recipes out, let us know how they are—and let the recipe creators know, too!

1.   Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes from a farmgirl’s dabbles

Pasta-with-sun-dried-tomatoes_AFarmgirlsDabbles_AFD-4We’ve loved Brenda’s blog and recipes since we started blogging, and we think this recipe looks like a fabulous side dish to bring to our next summer BBQ party.


2. Strawberry Dump Cake from Kitchen Nostalgia  


Yeah.  Yum. What’s more summer than strawberries and ice cream?



3. Buffalo Grilled Corn with Blue Cheese from Hey Grill, Hey.


What the what?! This looks delicious!



4. Smoking Gun Burger from The Burger Lab.

20130116-richard-blais-burger-lab-smokingPerhaps not the easiest burger recipe, but the way he makes it and describes it, I’m thinking it may be an amazing taste explosion.  (Bonus: Check out the Pueblo Slopper…)

And hey! Need some more grilling help to make any burger better?  Check out this post at A Bachelor and His Grill, packed full of tips and tricks and recommendations to help you create the best BBQ burger ever!

Let Us Know: What songs do you like to rock out to while you BBQ? And what food do you like to rock when you BBQ?


At the The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


P.S. Don’t forget to follow our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We’re fun and happy and whimsical and nostalgic over there, too. Pinky swear.



30 thoughts on “A Nostalgic Summer BBQ Playlist

  1. Those recipes look yummy! I would have to say that Summertime and Sweet Home Alabama (though I am not from Alabama and have never even visited!) are two must play summer songs for me.

  2. I love a good summer playlist. For me, it includes beah music and current pop songs that make you want to dance!

  3. We don’t have a great way to play music in our backyard. We should figure something out as summer music would add to summer get-togethers!

  4. I love summer playlists! Spotify always works in our favor for the occasion! 🙂 Those are great recipes!


    1. Oh awesome! Thanks for sharing. I’m definitely going to check this out!!

  5. Now I want to bust out my jambox and fire up the grill. Definitely adding some of these recipes (and music) to my summer menu!

  6. Music is the perfect constant. I love throwing it back to old songs and discovering what fond memories come with them! Plus, it’s fun to see that you can still remember all the words from a song you haven’t heard in over a decade. 😛
    xoxo Lauren | Glitter & Grandeur

  7. Its all about a good playlist! We are still working on ours but it contains music from pretty much every genre!

  8. There’s nothing better than great tunes and good food! Great list of recipes and music!

  9. Food and music? How can I resist? I’ll choose, in this moment, a little “Shine,” by Collective Soul, and an array of kabobs of every kind – steak, chicken, mushroom, pineapple, onion, pepper, … alligator? Maybe not. But definitely shrimp.

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