Jersey’s Summer Songs on a Back To The Beach Weekend
As thousands of hearty souls "brave" the frigid waters in Seaside Heights for the "24th Annual Polar Bear Plunge," I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of "Jersey's Favorite Hits"...from across the rock 'n' roll era...with "Summer" in the title!
"Summertime Blues" --Eddie Cochrane (#8/1958)
Eddie Cochran was born in Texas...but grew up in Minnesota! (the land of 10,000 lakes).
Eddie was all of 19 when he recorded this song, that he wrote with his buddy Jerry Capehart. They knew the song would click because there had been a lot of songs about summer, but none that dealt with the season's "hardships" for the young...
The song that made Eddie Cochran a star took 45 minutes to write!
"Summer In The City"--Lovin' Spoonful (#1/1966)
This Greenwich Village NY-based band termed their sound "good time music." "Summer In The City" was their only song to reach #1...appropriately in the summer (August) of 1966.
"Hot town...summer in the city...back of my neck getting dirty & gritty." And to that, after doing the radio show, add that I have headphone hair, as well!
"In The Summertime"--Mungo Jerry (#3/1970)
"In the summer time, when the weather is high...you can chase right up and touch the sky..."
Mungo Jerry isn't a guy...its a multi-member (ever-changing lineup) band from England. Ray Dorset is the band's leader...and founder.
The name was inspired by the T.S. Eliot poem "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer." "Mungomania" has been called "the most startling and unpredicted pop phenomenon" to hit England since the Beatles. "In The Summertime" is their only international chart hit.
"Summer Nights"--John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (#5/1978)
Summer and the movie "Grease" are synonymous. An enduring 1970's multi-media phenomenon that celebrated stylized American life of the 1950's.
And, this summer favorite has a Jersey connection...as John Travolta grew up in Englewood.
"Cruel Summer"--Bananarama (#9/1984)
Bananarama is Sarah Dallin, Keren Woodward and Siobhan Fahey, all from London.
The group name is a combination of the children's TV show "The Banana Splits" and the Roxy Music song "Pyjamarama."
Fahey married Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) in 1987.
"Cruel Summer" was the band's first chart hit...debuting in August 1984...
"Summer Of '69"--Bryan Adams (#5/1985)
Just a little "Canadian Content" in this overview of "Jersey's Favorite Hits" with "Summer" in the title...
I met Bryan Adams backstage at a station concert in Philadelphia in the late 1990's. Great guy...just a "regular" guy who enjoyed hanging out with the station staff, talking about music, and what we did for fun in Philly...
By the way, Bryan Adams was born November 5, 1959...so he was 9 in the "Summer of '69." Who's life is he singing about? The song's writer's life? Fiction? A combination of both?
I forgot to ask when I had the chance to set the record straight...direct from the man!
"Summertime"--DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (#4/1991)
DJ who, you ask? It's a Will Smith song!
Released in the summer of 1991, "Summertime" celebrates the joy of summer in and around Philly, as lived by Smith and his pal...
This "summer" song won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group.
"All Summer Long"--Kid Rock (#23/2008)
This anthem of summers past did something unusual on the music charts...it cracked the "Top-40" on the Hot 100 (Pop) chart, the Mainstream Rock chart, and the Country chart! Yes...COUNTRY!
Kid Rock explains the song's success: "its got two of the best songs of all time mashed up together." ("Sweet Home Alabama," and "Werewolves Of London"--both are among "Jersey's Favorite Hits!").
As you see in the video above, Kid Rock is cruising around "Old Hickory Lake" in Tennessee (it was too cold to shoot in Michigan)...and we see flashbacks of a teen-aged Kid Rock and his girlfriend and pals....
Memories of Summers Past...
These are just a few "Summer In The Title" songs from the "rock" world that popped into my head......there are many more!
We're putting the spotlight on the "Summer Hits" all weekend!
And, here's a Craig-blog freebie...summer isn't in the title...but its influence is felt throughout!
And, KUDOS to the hearty polar bear plungers!
THANKS, from New Jersey 101.5!