On November 17, 1962, 61 years ago, The Four Seasons, featuring Frankie Vallie, started a 5 week run at No. 1 on the US singles chart with “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” the group’s second No. 1 of the year. Their other No. 1 that year was “Sherry”, with “Walk Like A Man” and “Ain’t That A Shame” topping the charts the very next year. I remember Billy Joel at a concert I attended stating his confusion listening to Frankie, wondering should he “walk like a man” but “sing like a girl”? 🤣 He felt that in the 50s the media machine tightly controlled a safe, sterile pop presentation of music to youth, with the likes of The Four Seasons, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Annette Funicello.  But when he heard the raw sound of The Beatles in the 60’s, he knew the future of music was rock ‘n roll, and couldn’t wait to be a part of it.

The title of the Four Seasons song provides the theme of today’s playlist, songs featuring the word Don’t. The Beatles are featured 6 time on the list, most prominently with “Don’t Let Me Down” and Billy Joel with a few songs on the list, including “Don’t Ask Me Why.”

Who knew Don’t was such a pervasive word in rock and pop song titles? Such greats include Elvis, with simply “Don’t” as well as “Don’t Be Cruel,” ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down,” Tom Petty’s “Don’t Do Me Like That,” Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper,” Elton’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” Animals “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,”  Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” Beach Boys “Don’t Worry Baby,” Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” Boomtown Rats’ “I Don’t Like Mondays,” Simply Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach,” Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” among so many other amazing Don’t songs.

A few songs appear on the list without Don’t in the title but with the word so prominently featured in the song I couldn’t leave them off: After the Fire’s “Der Kommissar” – “Don’t turn around, wa-uh-oh (yeah-yeah), Der Kommissar’s in town, wa-uh-oh,” and Sam Cooke’s “(What A) Wonderful World” – “don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology…”

I did include some very popular country Don’t songs, such as Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Blink,” Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes’ “Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer,” Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys,” Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” and Josh Turner’s “Why Don’t We Just Dance.” But given the length of the playlist already, I reserved many more country Don’ts to a separate playlist.

For ease of finding your favorite don’t songs the list is organized alphabetically in a few groups, best of, select country, then b-side Don’t songs.

Some great Don’t videos, giving snapshots into their era, include:

Elvis Pressley – “Don’t Be Cruel”:

Tom Petty – Don’t Come Around Here No More”:

Madonna – “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”:

The Pretenders – “Don’t Get Me Wrong”:

George Michael & Elton John – “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”:

The Police – “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”:

Michael Jackson – “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”:

Simple Minds – “Don’t You Forget About Me”:

Madonna – “Papa Don’t Preach”:

After The Fire – “Der Kommissar”:

Toby Keith – “Don’t Let The Old Man In”:

American Outlaws – “Mamma Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”:

Josh Turner – “Why Don’t We Just Dance”:

So on to the playlists. Enjoy these amazing Don’t songs, just don’t rock the jukebox…

DON’T – Rock & Pop Don’t Songs

DON’T Fence Me In – Country Don’t Songs

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!