Students these days seemingly have earphones plugged into their ears at all times. Really, they aren't any different than we were except they can take it with them wherever they go.
What many of them don't realize is that in some cases they are listening to stories about history. Imagine that! They may be learning about history and not even know it!
One way for me to capitalize on their musical tastes and to help them connect to history in a different manner was to create an project (I used it as extra credit) that made them think about the music they (or others) listen to. There are some research skills involved here, plus they might just have a conversation with their parents or grandparents!
This is a Word document so you can adjust it as you need and I have included the basic instructions to the assignment and list of songs my students had collected (over 10 years of doing this) as a reference. You can use it as quick verification, assign specific songs to students, or just research them yourself.
Bottom line, have fun with this! There are endless ways this can be used or expanded upon.