When you’re not watching football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you’ll want some great music to set the mood for a day spent with family and friends. As any hostess knows, having a great playlist to set the tone is a must-have for a festive affair.

In that vein, we have a few suggestions for you so that you can either use these playlists or be inspired to make your own!

Dru Cunningham, of Birmingham Mountain Radio, suggests that for a truly collaborative mix to “think about your guests’ favorite artists and songs, or songs that hold meaning and memories for your family and friend groups.” She continues, “For example, I included ‘Hey Good Lookin” to remind me of my grandfather singing it to my grandmother in her last years.”

Dru also suggests mixing old and new to appeal to a wide range of ages. “I started with instrumentals to allow people to talk during initial greetings, then broke out the party with Sam and Dave,” says Dru. “Songs that make me feel love, unity and gratitude governed most of my selections. 2016 has been a tough, divisive year for many people, and I wanted to bring a sense of healing and peace to the table. I chose to remember four stunning artists who made their transition this year — David Bowie (via Seu Jorge), Leonard Cohen, Prince and Merle Haggard.”

So, for everyone who doesn’t have time to create their own playlist, now you have the background for this one and it will last through your gathering at a full 2 hours and 49 minutes of music sure to put everyone in the thankful spirit of the day!


This next playlist is perfect for the post-Thanksgiving dinner celebration. Lots of people have dinner with their family but gather for dessert and drinks with a larger group after that. If that is you, this may be your playlist!

Ana Lee, afternoon jock and PSA Director for Nashville’s Lightning 100 crafted this playlist for us, which was also featured in our How to Throw a Better Holiday Party. “I like the idea of sprinkling in familiar and classic tunes with lesser-known deep cuts or even lesser known artists — mixing it up with new and old songs. For me, it’s all about the flow. So not only is the sequence important, so are the transitions. Some streaming services allow you to control the cross-fades between songs, a great feature. (The only downside to this particular streaming service for a party playlist is no Prince!) It also doesn’t hurt to ask friends what music they’ve been into lately.”

This playlist starts out with what Ana Lee calls “chill vibes.” This perfectly matches the mood of guests arriving and drinks flowing as friends begin chatting and catching up. After about an hour, the tempo of the playlist picks up before turning into a full-on dance party. Ana mixed in some mid-tempo songs, which allow guests to take a breather or refresh their beverages. Enjoy!













And, if you’ve enjoyed some other SB playlists over the years, I’m still a fan of this classic country playlist, as starting out the day with classic country just gets me into the cooking vibe …

As you make your way through the day, this playlist we featured last year, showcasing music exclusively from Alabama and Mississippi, is a favorite:

No matter what your musical preference, we hope you’ve found some inspiration in these playlist options. Get creative and have fun as you make your musical selections for your holiday gathering. And most importantly, be thankful for your time together with those you hold near and dear. Happy Thanksgiving!


If you are still looking for holiday recipe ideas, here are 8 Fabulous Recipes for Thanksgiving Side Dishes. Or find inspiration for festive food, holiday decor and more by following us on Instagram.