September 24

A Short History of the (Short) Golden Age of Surf Music

The Ventures, 1960
The Ventures, 1960
Hey, what’s up everybody… Well, it’s official. Summer’s over. Before I leave my Songs of Summer Extravaganza in the rearview mirror, I wanted to share this article I came across about the heyday of the surf music craze.

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September 6

The Songs of Summer #103: ‘Havalina’ by The Pixies

pixies-havalinaHere we are at the penultimate Songs of Summer song of the day; I started this way back in June (or maybe even May? I can’t even remember.) as a way to share out some of my personal favorite summertime songs, as well as an exercise in getting me in the habit of a daily posting. I’ll say it has got me posting stuff daily, and that’s a goody thing. And it has been a lot of fun picking a song every day to match my summer mood. It would’ve been nice to have gotten some feedback into others’ favorite songs, but I’m afraid my daily readers are nowhere near enough to generate that kind of a discussion. For now, at least, this blog’s still a one-way street. We’ll see what happens down the road, but at least if I’m posting stuff here that means I’m at the very least tickling some of my own brain cells.

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August 29

The Songs of Summer #95: ‘More (Theme from Mondo Cane)’ by Kai Winding & Kenny Burrell

kai-winding-moreI’ve got a playlist in iTunes that I call ‘Surf Lounge,’ and the whole thing is based around this song, ‘More (theme from Mondo Cane)‘, and the same-titled album it comes from. ‘More (Theme from Mondo Cane)‘ was a fairly big instrumental hit in 1963, which if you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’ll know was the height of the surf music craze. Back then, instrumental hits were much more common on the radio than they are today.

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August 25

The Songs of Summer 90-92: Brian Wilson & The Beach Boys

brian-wilson-smileIt’s a cold (well, 55 degrees; cold for August, would seem like the tropics in January) gray morning at the Brainstembob Bunker…BUT…still summer, folks. There’s no better way to warm up a cool rainy morning than The Beach Boys, so today features a whole heaping helping of Beach Boys classics. Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys have shown me over the years that, no matter what the weather’s like, and no matter what time of year it actually may be, the sunny summer is never far away as long as their music plays.

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August 15

The Songs of Summer #78: ‘K-39’ by The Challengers

challengers-k39Cowabunga, baby!! More classic surf sounds for a hot and humid Saturday. Today would be an absolutely perfect day to hit the beach, even if our beautiful Lake Michigan water temperatures are in the 40’s and 50’s today…If you’re grabbing your board for a Great Lakes shore, better wear your wetsuit. I’ve got personal obligations today so I won’t be anywhere near any beach, but with jammin’ surf tunes like ‘K-39‘ by The Challengers, I’m there in my mind.

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August 10

The Songs of Summer #70 : ‘Summer Fun’ by The Barracudas

barracudas-summer-funSummer means fun. Did you know that? Were you even aware that if it’s summertime, you’re supposed to be having nothing but fun? Most sunshiny summertime songs heavily allude to this fact, but this song here states it flat-out. It’s Summer, you need to be out in the sun, and you need to be having fun. Have fun in the summer fun, dammit!! ‘Summer Fun‘ lays it all out for you..a fun (of course it’s fun) track by The Barracudas, a short-lived English band who had a minor U.K. hit with this track in the summer (of course in the summer) of 1980.

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August 6

The Songs of Summer #66: ‘The Lonely Surfer’ by Jack Nitzsche

jack-nitzsche-lonely-surferJack Nitzsche…with a name like that, he’s gotta be good. And he was. Jack’s claim to fame was being the arranger, producer, scapegoat, and all-around right hand man to producer wunderkind Phil Spector. Spector’s patented ‘Wall of Sound‘ production style owes a great deal to the talents of Jack Nitzschke (among several others.) Today’s Song of Summer: Nitzsche’s classic surf instro, ‘The Lonely Surfer.’

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