Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gentlemen Start Your Barbies

Well folks we've almost put the first week of summer behind us. Although people try to say the start of summer is that weekend at the end of May that has a holiday in it. Summer actually starts on that day when the daylight hours start growing shorter. Summer. The gals have put away their sweaters and suddenly we men are treated to skimpier clothes. The muscle guys break out their mesh shirts, and us fatter guys spend more time sucking in our guts. The road crews seem to have every street in the city tore up and the birds like to wake your ass up at 4 in the morning. More and more folks are throwing shrimps on the barbie, and gas prices start heading up ever higher. I remember one summer when music was really starting to be a focal point in my life and about the only memories I have of that year is the music. The year was 1973 and summer vacation had descended across the land. AM station WLS out of Chicago was the station everyone listened to. That year was an exceptional one for music and that summer had some memorable tunes and every time I hear one it will forever be a song of summer. I'm just saying I like me some summer tunes.

It's kind of a tradition here at Good Rockin' to showcase my favorite summer song every year when summer starts. Just in case someone has spent most of their time under a rock and hasn't heard it. Shoot I may even put up a couple of great summer songs. Let's see where this goes. I feel the quintessential summer song is by War, simply titled Summer. War was one of the most popular funk groups of the '70s. Just hearing any War song makes you think of summer. Low Rider, Spill the Wine, and The Cisco Kid are just a few examples of songs with that summer feel. Maybe it's the melding of soul, Latin, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock into an effortless funky groove that does the trick. Their music almost always had a sunny, laid-back vibe mirroring their Southern California roots. War kept the groove loose, and they were given over to extended jamming. Summer came out in 1976 and it turned out to be War's final Top Ten pop hit. Everytime I hear this song it just makes me want to pop open a cold brewski and chillaxx. Smooth grooves.

Summer by War

British folkish duo Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde charted 11 US singles from 1964 to 1966. They had much more success in America than their counterparts Peter and Gordon. On the other hand Peter and Gordon had great success in the UK and Chad and Jeremy charted only once in their native land. Their biggest hit was called A Summer Song and it just makes you want to sit under a shade tree and sip some Mike's Hard lemonade. Chad and Jeremy's vocals and harmonies were simply stunning. Maybe that's too strong a word, but they were beautifully sung. These guys broke up around 1968, but it just wouldn't be summer without hearing this song at least once.

A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy

Back in the summer of 1982 we played this song at every single party and lawn dart competition we had. We were serious about our lawn darts. We even had a freakin' league. Crazy shit maynard. Anyway Eddy grant's Killer on the Rampage album was huge that year fueled by the #2 classic hit Electric Avenue. Man we played the crap out of that record and homercat's team won the tournament.

Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant

Funny Toon