Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

A Vintage Music Playlist

Good music puts vintage clothes in context. I like to imagine what  the person who wore this dress, those gloves and that hat would have listened to.

The music I play in the shop is vintage but not “oldies; I like to keep the mix fresh and unexpected. So I put in Billie Holiday and Pandora, bless it’s digital heart, gives me Dinah Washington. I watch how customers respond: I see which songs make people shimmy while they shop and which ones make them nod their heads like patrons of a jazz club, then I use the thumbs up button to groom the playlist.

Back to vintage clothes: listening to these great songs  makes me wonder what the musicians were wearing when they were singing and playing them.

Here is a stylish glimpse of some artists on my playlist:

stylish vintage ladies

Dinah Washington, Astrud Gilberto,  Francoise Hardy, Patsy Cline, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald

Vintage men of style

Monk, Frank, Miles, Serge, Dizzy, Cash

I like to cast a wider musical net so I can have more interesting songs. Everyone loves Motown, sure, but it’s become a kind of shorthand to encapsulate an earlier era. So I try to keep the mix stocked with unexpected artists. That’s how you end up with a little quirkiness, like the French version of These Boots Were Made for Walking.

Here are my current stations, which I put on shuffle:

Instrumental Jazz:

Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, Dexter Gordon, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Duke Ellington

Vocal Jazz:

Carmen MacRae, Anita O’Day,  Billie Holliday, Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong


Nina Simone, Sugar Pie Desanto, Ann Peebles, Lee Moses, Irma Thomas, Soloman Burke


Serge Gainsbourg, Chico and Rita Habana Band,   Bossacucanova, Paris Combo, O Samba da Minha Terra, Zou Bisou Bisou

Wild Cards:

Patsy Cline, Pokey LaFarge, Pink Martini

Here’s a fun vintage playlist for you:

Misty by Sarah Vaughn

It’s Raining by Irma Thomas

 Rum and Coca Cola by Tim Tim

That’s Alright by Mose Alison

Rock Me Baby by Sugar Pie Desanto

Cool Stuttin by Sonny Clark

Fine Fat Daddy by Dinah Washington

Seven Come Eleven by Charlie Christian

Can’t Stand the Rain by Ann Peebles

And one of my favorites by Nina Simone:

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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