Summer playlist time again! I was initially going to use my playlist from last year, but said “nah, that’s cheatin’.” My next thought was to do the #1 hits from a random summer, such as 1974, but the more I did, the more I realized I’d already done that and you probably were sick of the songs. So I created a new playlist with summerlike songs. Some of them aren’t specifically summer songs, but they work.
- The Jamies, “Summertime, Summertime” Brother and sister Tom and Serena Jameson had a minor hit with this in 1958, when it reached #26. After a bunch more records that didn’t go anywhere, the re-released it in 1962, and it reached #38.
- John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, “Summer Nights” From the 1978 movie Grease, which was based on the musical of the same name. John and Olivia, as Danny and Sandy, are talking about their summer vacations, totally unaware that they’re talking about each other.
- Johnny Rivers, “Summer Rain” Johnny’s tribute to the summer of 1967, also known as The Summer Of Love. I was in San Francisco that summer, but only being 11, I didn’t partake in any of the festivities, so to speak…
- Kool & The Gang, “Summer Madness” A great instrumental that still gets a lot of play on Smooth Jazz stations, from their 1975 album Spirit Of The Boogie.
- Ramsey Lewis featuring Earth Wind & Fire, “Sun Goddess” Some more Smooth Jazz from a couple of Chicago acts. Title track from Ramsey’s 1975 release.
- Martha & The Vandellas, “Dancing In The Street” Summer’s here and the time is right… From 1964, when it went to #2.
- Linda Ronstadt, “Heat Wave” This could have been a Martha & The Vandellas twofer, then I remembered that the lovely Ms. Ronstadt had done it as well. 1975 is well represented in this list: this is from her Prisoner In Disguise album from that year, and reached #5.
- The Motels, “Suddenly Last Summer” From Berkeley, California, these New Wavers reached #9 in 1983 with this one.
- The Trashmen, “Surfin’ Bird” You have to include a surf tune if you’re talking summer, and The Trashmen are considered the greatest landlocked (they’re from Minneapolis, Minnesota) surf band ever. This is a combination of two R&B hits by The Rivingtons, “Bird Is The Word” and “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow”. This went to #4 in 1963.
- Corey Smith, “The Baseball Song” Baseball players are sometimes referred to as “the boys of summer,” right? Corey’s from outside Athens, Georgia, which we all know by now is a sort of hotbed of musical activity. After graduating from UGA, he taught Geography, History and Guitar at North Gwinnett High School (the other side of Atlanta from me) until he decided to make music his life.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 24, 2019.