For eight years I ran a small, historical ice cream and hamburger stand located on the west side of Nashville called Bobbie’s Dairy Dip. It’s a famous place in Nashville; built in 1951, the colorful tiny concrete box with big windows boasts a rare vintage drive-in feel that you just don’t get from other types of retro joints. Besides the hand-patted burgers and full-fat soft serve, part of the appeal of Bobbie’s is the music played over the loudspeakers — which I am not too proud to say that, during my time at the Dip, I took a special interest in curating.
We always wanted Bobbie’s to feel as authentic as possible. So among the classic, recognizable golden oldies, we’d throw in a plethora of genre-spanning deeper cuts: roots rock, doo wop, rockabilly, Jamaican ska, R&B, Motown, bubblegum pop, surf rock, British Invasion, and even some glam rock all had their place in our metaphorical jukebox, along with an impressive amount of classic country (it was Nashville, after all). The only rule was, we’d try our best to keep it within the realm of the ’50s and ’60s.
I look back on my years at Bobbie’s and see it as a truly special time. I’ve honestly never had a job in which I felt so much a part of the community. Locals and celebrities alike would stop by for a dipped cone or a corn dog (I won’t name names here, but ask me sometime about which rock star preferred us to refer to him as “Mr. Sprinkles”), and I always got a kick out of telling customers how the building was featured in “this really weird movie you might not have heard of called Gummo.”
So for this week’s summer playlist, I’ve put together some of my favorite Dairy Dip jams that just scream the words “summer,” “heat,” and “tasty treats.” So hit “play” and ride the wave at “Charlotte Beach” with me.