Monday, July 23, 2012

A Sizzling Sixteen of "Summer Songs"

Whew. It was another scorcher this yesterday. But with the morning's sermon behind me, I diverted my attentions from the heat by watching Ernie Els pull off a completely unexpected win in The Open AND by compiling a list of my favorite summer songs. I wonder how they compare with your favorites.

Here they are...

1) "All Summer Long" -- The Beach Boys. (But, of course, you could toss in here a dozen others from these guys that could also make the list: "I Get Around." "Surfin' U.S.A." "Surfer Girl." And so on. They are certainly pop music's version of The Boys of Summer.)

2) "Summer Nights" -- Marianne Faithfull (Moody, romantic. It's been a favorite ever since the days of my misspent youth.)

3) "Our Last Summer" -- Abba (Like many of Abba's later songs, this is great music…but music with a message of particular relevance to my generation.)

4) "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" -- Percy Faith Orchestra (Beautiful music by which to fall in love. And, as I can also attest, by which to stay in love!)

5) "See You In September" -- The Happenings (Tuneful, fun but also tender, especially for those who remember the pain of summer partings.)

6) "A Summer Song" -- Chad & Jeremy (A Top Ten hit from 1964. Mellow harmony. Meaningful lyrics. A very pretty number.)

7) "Under the Boardwalk" -- The Drifters (Classic New York soul from one of the greatest vocal groups of the early rock era.)

8) "Summer Rain" -- Johnny Rivers (A dreamy 1967 song that was played on hi-fi sets, 8-track tape machines, and late night FM radio programs throughout the "flower power" years.)

9) "One Summer Night" -- The Danleers (No doubt about it, this is doo-wop magic. The Diamonds had a nice recording of this too.)

10) "Sealed With a Kiss" -- Brian Hyland (A little saccharine perhaps but this 1962 song effectively captures the feeling of a temporary separation that at least one of the parties suspects might end up being more than temporary.)

11) "V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N" -- Connie Francis (Fun and funky. Connie at her playful best.)

12) "Here Comes Summer" -- Jerry Keller (Could it be that I've loved this song for over 50 years? Yep. I first heard it played over Denver's KIMN in 1959.)

13) "Wonderful Summer" -- Robin Ward (A one-hit wonder from a pretty brunette who was raised in Nebraska. And though she didn't have any other radio hits, you can hear her voice in the TV theme songs of Batman, The Partridge Family and several others. Also in hundreds of commercials like those touting Rice-a-Roni.)

14) "Summer in the City" -- Lovin' Spoonful (A harder-edged song that any of the others in this list but still a favorite. I hear this song and...presto...I'm back pumping gas at Banner Tire on West Evans in south Denver.)

15) "Hot Fun in the Summertime" -- Sly & the Family Stone (Did I say "funky" to describe an earlier song. Forget it. THIS is funky.)

16) "Summertime, Summertime" -- The Jamies (Sure, it's almost a nonsense song but with such a catchy chorus that I had to put it in the mix. And who can't help like a song that contains these lyrics: 'Well, I'm so happy that I could flip. Oh, how I'd love to take a trip. I'm sorry teacher but zip your lip. Because it's summertime.')

If you don't remember these songs (or if you've never heard them at all), you can find most of them on You Tube. Have fun...And stay cool!