These are the top five songs of summer to me, and I can visit the season whenever I choose as long as I have them playing. Each one brings back sights, sounds and events, memories of a days gone by. Do you sometimes do that too? I’m sharing these “summer” songs with you because the real warm days, and cool nights are almost here.
Taken from the movie musical “Grease,” starring Olivia Newton John and John Travolta, “Summer Nights” is a story of a summer love that neither of the two lovers take seriously at the time. The song, written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, was on everyone’s lips in both the United States and the United Kingdom in 1978. But that wasn’t the last we’d hear of it; it was re-released in the 1990s as part of a mix of several songs from the movie. To me this bouncy, catchy song just signifies the rites of passage of youth and summer. Almost everyone knows a bit of this song, which makes it one of my five top songs that say SUMMER!
This is the original soundtrack from the movie, which includes “Summer Nights.”
Recorded in the late 1950s by Eddie Cochran, “Summertime Blues” is still remembered for its humor and expression of teenage frustration. For many teens, the song became their anthem of the day. Written by Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart, the song never reached the #1 slot of top hits of the day, but still went on to outlast other songs in popularity. Cochran was killed in a freak car accident in Bath, England at the age of 21. Had he lived to pursue his career, he would have undoubtedly gone on to bigger and better things in the music field. This song was popular in my late teens and I loved the beat and the fun it portrayed. It was a time of transition for me, the end of carefree youth and the beginning of adulthood. I still love reliving that time when I hear its catchy tune! This album contains “Summertime Blues.”
“Summertime,” an aria composed by George Gershwin for the opera “Porgy and Bess,” sets the mood that we sometimes feel when things aren’t going right for us, but we still long for a better day. The lyrics to this song were written by DuBose Heyward, who authored the novel “Porgy,”from which the opera was taken, concerning tragedies in the lives of an African-American couple, whose death leaves an orphaned child. This song is a classic standard in the songbook of many jazz and blues performers. The first recording in 1936, is Billie Holiday‘s version, which reached #12 on the music charts, not an easy thing to do for a lady of her race in that time. The great soul singer Sam Cooke also made this part of his repertoire before his death in 1964. Of all the performers I could choose from, and there are many who have recorded “Summertime,” I chose to offer you my favorite version, from Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
This album is the very best of Ella and Louis, a great combination!
“Summer Breeze” written and recorded by the rock duo, Seals and Crofts, is a summer song that’s stuck around for a long, long time. It was first released in 1972, reached top numbers on the rock charts and then went to #6 on the Billboard’s charts in 2013, and topped that off by ranking #13 on Rolling Stone’s “Best Summer Songs of All Time.” How’s that for a bit of summer breeze? The song after being recorded by other artists like The Isley Brothers, Type O Negative and The Three Tenors has no intention of being forgotten. Here’s the original, the Seals and Crofts version for your listening pleasure.
Hot Town, Summer In The City
The Lovin’ Spoonful, a rock group of the 1960s, released their hit “Hot Town, Summer in the City” in 1966. It was their only #1 chart topper but their other efforts never failed to rank in the top 10 of the charts. The thing that bothers me most about summer is once it gets to the extreme temperatures, and then this song always comes to mind. Still, although the song is appropriate, you can’t help but love it. It’s another example of a great rock song with wonderful lyrics. Give it a listen below.
These albums are available for purchase on this page. If you missed the links above, here’s a second chance;