When you think about the '60s, especially if you were fortunate enough to be around back then, the music is probably one of the first things to come to mind. While most decades have a few specific categories of popular music, this was not the case with the 1960s. Popular music was so varied that there was something for everybody.
The 1960s may have come in with Johnny Tillotson and gone out with Janis Joplin, but Billboard's lists of top songs shed an entirely different light on how wide the range of music really was during the decade. I thought I would check Billboard to see which songs ranked at the top for each year:
Topping the charts in 1960 was The Theme from A Summer Place, by Percy Faith. I'm clueless about this one; never heard of it.
1961's Tossin' and Turnin'', by Bobby Lewis, is a good example of when "Golden Oldies" actually represented original rock'n'roll; it was a bouncy little dance tune.
1962's Stranger on the Shore was by Acker Bilk; it was an instrumental.
Sugar Shack, by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs, ranked at the top in 1963.
Everyone in America who was alive in 1964 probably watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Their immediate popularity took "I wanna hold your hand" to the top in 1964.
The second half of the decade brought chart-toppers such as Wooly Bully, The Ballad of the Green Berets, To Sir With Love, and Hey Jude. It may come as a surprise to find the decade ended with the Archies' Sugar Sugar. I cannot speak for anyone else, but music was the high point of my childhood in the 1960s. It made the good parts of life better, and the difficult parts a little easier.
If you were not around in the '60s, aren't familiar with these songs, or simply want to enjoy them again, you can find these hits and many more on YouTube.