Monday’s Music Moves Me: Car Tunes!

I was going to start out by saying “Happy Memorial Day,” but Memorial Day isn’t actually a happy day, because it commemorates members of the United States armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard) who died in combat. However, Memorial Day weekend is considered by many to be the unofficial first weekend of summer, so Happy First Weekend of Summer! The kids here are out of school until the first or second Monday in August, which used to be called “summer vacation.”


Since summer and cars go together, today we were asked to come up with songs about cars. I’m sure I’ll be repeating some of what others have chosen, because no doubt when someone says “car songs,” people tend to think about the same ones. Anyway, here are the ten I chose, in a playlist for you. Enjoy!

  1. Golden Earring, “Radar Love” The one big hit for Dutch rockers Golden Earring, this reached #13 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Cash Box survey in 1973.
  2. The Beach Boys, “Little Deuce Coupe” The title track from their 1963 album. This was their highest-charting “B” side (the “A” side was “Little Surfer Girl”), reaching #15 on the Hot 100.
  3. Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” A cover of Charlie Ryan’s 1955 hit, it was the most-successful version, reaching #9 in 1972. It was on the Commander’s 1971 album Lost In The Ozone.
  4. Johnny Cash, “One Piece At A Time” The story of building a Cadillac piece by piece from parts stolen from the assembly line. It was the title track from Johnny’s 54th studio album, released in 1976. It reached #1 on the Country chart and #29 on the Hot 100.
  5. Chuck Berry, “You Can’t Catch Me” Chuck wrote a lot of songs about cars, and this was one of the first, released in 1956. It was recorded in the same session as “Maybelline” and “Wee Wee Hours.”
  6. Jan & Dean, “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” The first of two songs in this list by Messrs. Berry and Torrance, who did a lot of songs about cars and surfing. This one reached #3 in 1964.
  7. Ronnie & The Daytonas, “Little GTO” Ronny & The Daytonas were a surf and rock & roll band out of Nashville. They released a number of singles between 1964 and 1967. This was the first and the only to reach the Top Ten, peaking at #4.
  8. The Rip Chords, “Hey Little Cobra” From 1963, this peaked at #4 in the US, #5 in Canada, and #3 in New Zealand.
  9. Jan & Dean, “Drag City” Title track from Jan & Dean’s 1963 album, it reached the Top Ten in January 1964.
  10. The Playmates, “Beep Beep (The Little Nash Rambler)” Heard this one on Dr. Demento many moons ago. This was a 1958 novelty record that reached #4 and spent twelve weeks on the Billboard Top 40 chart.

Hope this brightens your Memorial Day. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 29, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


29 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Car Tunes!

  1. I’m glad you mentioned “Maybelline” because I’d add that to the list. “Radar Love” is one of those songs I grew tired of, but if I was behind the wheel, it was always welcome. If this was a list for us to add to, I’d add my favorite. “Back Roads” by Ricky van Shelton. Happy start of summer, John.


    1. Hey, I’ll probably add all kinds of songs to my list, probably a few that other folks have in their lists. Wonder if there’s a way to combine YouTube playlists. Hmm… maybe I should read the Help…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There are dozens of car songs. You could limit yourself to just Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys, and Chuck Berry and have a double album’s worth. I just stopped at ten.


  2. You’ve listed some real classics. As is typically the case I’ll dig into the esoteric with one of my favorite groups Prefab Sprout with their philosophical take on the subject in the song “Cars and Girls” :


  3. Great selection! My all time favorite is one Mama used to sing. I think it came from some movie in the 30’s or early 40’s. I can’t recall all the lyrics, just pieces: “She was fat and he was skinny, he had freckles and red hair….out spooning in the merry month of may….Will you love me when my radiator’s busted, will you love me when my tail light fails to shine? Will you love me when my brakes they need adjusting, sweetheart, will you let me call you mine?…..Will you love me when my little Ford is through?”


  4. Great selection, John. “Little GTO” has always been one of my favorites. When I lived in Miami, a new oldies radio station debuted and “Little GTO” was the first song played.


  5. Isn’t there a song just with the title “cars” it’s going through my head right now and came out in the early 80’s . I know most of these songs and I bet there are many more


    1. Sorry your comments got tossed in jug… no idea what happened there. I mean, you’ve commented here before, and other people post songs in the comments all the time. Maybe Akismet was taken over by liberals or something…


      1. Ha! Yeah, I don’t know why it kept rejecting my comment. By the fourth attempt, I’d given up on retyping the actual comment and had only enough patience left to post the song link. But glad to see you retrieved the original comment.

        Below is another car song I’ve been digging since 1978. The audio and visual quality of this old video is very poor but, yes, the blonde in the blue T-Bird is indeed Stevie Nicks. And that is also her doing the background vocals. (Don’t be fooled by the “fake vocals” — lip-syncing — of the gal on stage in the video.) A higher quality version of it can be found at YouTube, minus the visuals.

        ~ D-FensDogG
        [Link:) Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…


  6. John,

    “Radar Love” is an awesome classic. I believe someone else featured it as well as others that made your playlist but that’s okay it’s great to rock down the highway with them again. It’s hard to not repeat when there are so many good ones out there. Now that it’s unofficially summer the roads are going to be busy with cars, but the superhighway will slow to crawl. Thanks for hitting the dance floor with the 4M gang, my friend.


  7. Finally getting over here. I had too many things going to join Music Moves Me in May, but maybe now in June. When I saw the theme, I immediately thought “Hot Rod Lincoln” , which so many artists have covered. I’ve yet to listen to the original. And, of course, Highway Star, which someone else already mentioned. Oh, music loves its cars!


    1. I’ll be sure to stop by… I think I saw you had a post out there. There have been a few artists that have covered “Hot Rod Lincoln,” including Commander Cody, whose I used. The original was done in 1955 by Charlie Ryan, and it was a reply to Arkie Shibley’s “Hot Rod Race” from 1951.

      And cars love their music, don’t they?


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