August 18

The Songs of Summer #81-82: Motown Double Shot

motown-hitsvilleSigh. Summer’s winding down. We’re past the halfway point of August, and it’s a continual downhill slide into another school year. I live with two students and a teacher, so the anxiety levels and the ‘woe is me summer’s almost over I don’t wanna go back to school’ vibe is really starting to ramp up. The talk around the house is increasingly turning to how many weeks are left in summer before school…soon that talk will convert from weeks to days remaining…It’s all too much for this year-rounder to handle.

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August 17

The Songs of Summer #80: ‘It Must Be Summer’ by Fountains of Wayne

fountains-of-wayne-summerIt’s Power Pop Monday!! ‘It Must Be Summer‘ is a summery pop nugget from Fountains of Wayne, one of the few bands around still flying the flag for that criminally underrated musical genre those in the know refer to as power pop.

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August 16

The Songs of Summer #79: ‘Hot in the City’ by Billy Idol

Another red hot scorcher around the country today…it’s gonna be hot in the city, hot in the country, and hotter than hell itself out west. Shit, it’s basically hot everywhere today. But I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised, it is smack dab in the middle of August.

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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 14

The Songs of Summer #77: ‘Seaside Bar Song’ by Bruce Springsteen

seaside-bar-songIs there any better example of a little slice of heaven on earth than a seaside bar? Other than a well-stocked record store, I’m having trouble thinking of anything better off the top of my head…Anyway, it’s Friday, it’s still summer, and it’s hot and muggy outside. Let’s take a ride down to the shore and have a visit (our second) with Mr. Springsteen.

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August 12

The Songs of Summer #75: ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)’ by The Tokens

the-tokens-lion-sleeps-tonightBack to the 60’s for today’s Song of Summer. ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight‘ was a massive #1 hit for doo-wop group The Tokens in 1961. Now, I’ve loved this song my entire life, again thanks to my mother’s love of 50’s and 60’s music and its near-constant presence around our house. It was only much later in life that I learned that this lovely, happy little song has a long, sordid history.

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August 11

The Songs of Summer #72-74: Stevie Wonder Triple Play

stevie-wonder-hotter-than-julyMore Stevie Wonder for your ear pleasure today…Is there such a thing as too much Stevie Wonder? No, there is not.Well, at least you get up to his 1980’s recordings and beyond…Stevie’s a musical treasure, but I don’t think I’m going to ruffle too many feathers if I say that the quality of his output started to seriously suffer after about 1980. But that’s ok, because we still have his 60’s and massive 70’s work to fall back to.

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August 9

The Songs of Summer #69: ‘Theme from “A Summer Place” ‘ by Percy Faith

percy-faith-summer-placeAnother song on the gentler side for a quiet Sunday morning. I’ve never seen ‘A Summer Place,’ the movie from which this theme song comes, but judging from the music, it’s more than likely a saccharine-sweet romance flick, and I’ll take a pass.

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August 8

The Songs of Summer #68: ‘Saturday Night at the Movies’ by The Drifters

drifters-saturday-nightSummer movies. That’s today’s theme. I’m going to guess that for many of us, hitting the movie theater is a top summertime activity; much more so than hitting the beach, or the pool, or the boat. I know, that stuff forms the basis of almost every summer song, but it’s not the reality most of us live in. But that’s why I love these Songs of Summer so much…They’re fantasy, for the most part. They were created to distract us for 2 or 3 minutes at a time from the humdrummery of our real lives. That’s why they’re so great, and so important.

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