Summer officially arrived last night, but today is the first full day of the season, which gives me a great excuse to share 10 of my favorite summer songs. You probably have your own list of the ones you like best, and I’d love to know yours are that aren’t on my list. In the meantime here’s my list in alphabetical order.
ALL SUMMER LONG – THE BEACH BOYS
This may be my favorite summer song of all time. I’m hoping The Beach Boys have it on their set list when they hit town on July 7. It was the song used at the end of the movie American Graffiti.
HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME – SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE
Whether on not Sly Stone is still homeless and living in a van in Los Angeles, he still made some of the most innovative singles of the 60′s and early 70′s. This 1969 summer anthem became their ninth chart single.
IN THE SUMMERTIME – MUNGO JERRY
This song reminds me of my senior year in high school, working at my first radio station in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Who wouldn’t want to relive those memories!
SCHOOL’S OUT – ALICE COOPER
This has one of the greatest guitar intros of all time. By the time this song came out, I was between my sophomore and junior years at Oklahoma State, working at the campus station, and having one of the best times of my life. It was a huge part of the soundtrack of that summer.
SUMMERTIME SUMMERTIME – THE JAMIES
I probably liked this more as a pre-teen than in later years, but you have to admit it’s catchy – and annoying at the same time. And that’s a perfect combination for a song you can’t get out of your head once you hear it. I haven’t played this for our 4 year old grand daughter, but I’m betting she’ll give it the thumbs up when I do.
SUMMER IN THE CITY – THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL
John Sebastian wrote this song with his brother, and I’ve heard him say in several interviews that it was far from his favorite songs he wrote for the group. I couldn’t disagree more. it was tough to dance to, but great to listen to.
SUMMER RAIN – JOHNNY RIVERS
James Hendricks (no relation to Jimi Hendrix) wrote this song that Johnny Rivers took into the top 20 in 1967. The song may talk about summer rain, but it wasn’t a hit until the Christmas of that year. It’s still one of my favorite singles from that year.
SUMMER WIND – FRANK SINATRA
This was a hit in the fall of 1966 that has been recorded by a lot of singers since then, most recently by Michael Buble. In my small hometown there a business called The Corner Pocket which housed four pool tables, a candy machine, a coke machine, and a jukebox. I’d hang out with my buddies, and with the quarter I put in the jukebox, I got three plays, which never varied. I would play You Make Me Feel So Young by Frank Sinatra, San the Sham‘s Red Hot, and Summer Wind. I can still hear the groans from my buddies when I walked to put my two bits in. It’s a great high school memory of me and my buddies.
SUMMERTIME BLUES – EDDIE COCHRAN
Eddie Cochran was one cool guy who played a mean orange colored Gretsch guitar and made some great rock and roll records. Brian Setzer of The Stray Cats borrowed a lot from Eddie. The Who covered this song as did Alan Jackson, but there’s only one version that works for me, and that’s Eddie‘s original.
THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE – PERCY FAITH
Percy Faith was a Canadian that recorded albums geared to my parents. But at the beginning of the decade, he recorded the second biggest hit of the decade – only The Beatles Hey Jude was bigger. This is also another example of a summer song that wasn’t a hit in the summer. Theme from A Summer Place began its 9 week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on February 22.
That’s my top 10, now how about you sharing yours.