We're sorry, but you can't play The Beatles and The Rolling Stones at your Fourth of July party. You don't need to blast Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." all night or play an endless loop of "America the Beautiful," but there's nothing wrong with getting a little patriotic. You can do it in a subtle and creative way if you don't want to be too obvious. Keeping it all-American is a given, but where do you go from there?
Classic country is a good choice if you're having a casual cookout -- think Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson (be sure to include Cash's "Ragged Old Flag"). Motown would be easy, too (Marvin Gaye's rendition of the national anthem is a must for this one). Here are some more suggestions for playlist themes:
- Chronological Classics: Start off with big band and make your way through classic rock, disco, '70s punk rock, '80s hair bands and '90s R&B.
- Name Game: Any tune title referencing America or an individual state is fair game. "Surfin' U.S.A.," "American Pie" and "Sweet Home Alabama" are all crowd-pleasers.
- Hometown Hits: Play only artists from or songs that mention your home state. Granted, this will be an easier task if you're from, say, California rather than Iowa.
Check out the links on the next page for more party planning and decorating ideas.