34 Songs for a Road Trip: Guest Post from Jessica Brockmole

Today we’re thrilled to welcome author Jessica Brockmole to the blog. Her latest book, Woman Enters Left, is out today! It follows two women making road trips across America, and in honour of that, Jessica shares a road trip playlist. 

Some days I give myself a theme song. Really good writing days deserve Pat Benatar’s All Fired Up. Days where maybe I need a little encouragement, it might be Don’t Stop Believin’. Days at the end of busy, busy weeks, it could be I’m Still Standing. Days where I’ve checked everything off my to-do list? The Dollyrots’ Because I’m Awesome. After all, why shouldn’t we all have our very own soundtrack?
For Louise Wilde, one of the heroines in Woman Enters Left, music keeps her company on a long drive in 1952 between California and New Jersey, but it also provides a soundtrack to her journey. If anyone needs a theme song or two, it’s Louise. Fleeing a stagnant acting career and a troubled marriage, Louise impulsively decides to drive home to spend Christmas with her dad. With a cherry red Studebaker and a suitcase full of questions, she finds unexpected adventure and inner strength on the road.
And, as she drives, she listens to the radio. The airwaves of 1952 were full of big bands and crooners, of ballads and blues, of love songs and dance songs. Some might have made her sing, some might have made her cry, some might have reminded her of what and who she left behind. For fun, I’ve made Louise a playlist for her long road trip, one that hints at the adventures she has along the way. The music of the 1950s provides the soundtrack for her journey; maybe among these songs she’ll find a theme song or two!


  • Songs for when you’re leaving it all behind
    • Bye Bye Baby by Tony Martin
    • Goodbye, Sweetheart by Russ Morgan & His Orchestra
    • Gonna Get Along Without You Now by Teresa Brewer
    • I’ll Walk Alone by Don Cornell
  • Songs for when you wish you were already there
    • Slow Poke by Pee Wee King
    • Move Me by Little Caeser
    • How Long Will It Take! by Lefty Frizzell
  • Songs for when you’re driving late into the night
    • Wee Wee Hours by Stick McGhee
    • Sunset to Dawn by Mel Walker
    • Sleepy Time Gal by Tony Martin
    • Let’s Call It a Day by Sonny Thompson
  • Songs for when you’re lost
    • Detour by Patti Page
    • The Signs by the Side of the Road by The Chuck Wagon Gang
    • Wanderin’ by Sammy Kaye
  • Songs for when you’ve eaten too many diner hamburgers
    • I’m Confessin’ by Les Paul & Mary Ford
    • Oh! by Pee Wee Hunt
    • There Goes My Heart by Danny Winchell
  • Songs for when you run out of gas on a desert highway
    • Oops by Doris Day
    • Wheel of Fortune by Kay Starr
    • Walkin’ To Missouri by Sammy Kay
  • Songs for when you’re thinking of stopping to try chicken fried steak for the first time, but you’re really not sure
    • Maybe by Perry Como & Eddie Fisher
    • Undecided by Ames Brothers & Les Brown
    • Temptation by Mario Lanza
  • Songs for when you’re remembering getting caught in the rain on your honeymoon
    • Turn Back the Hands of Time by Eddie Fisher
    • So Madly in Love by Georgia Gibbs
    • I Know a Place by Doris Day & Ray Bolger
    • I Get Ideas by Louis Armstrong
  • Songs for when you’re wishing you had him in the passenger seat
    • Wish You Were Here by Eddie Fisher
    • I’m Really Needin’ You by Wayne Raney
    • I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You) by Guy Mitchell
  • Songs for when you want to go home
    • I Apologize by Billy Eckstine
    • Just One More Chance by Les Paul & Mary Ford
    • I Cross My Fingers by Percy Faith
    • Headin’ for Home by Joe “Fingers” Carr
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