Open Thread: Sounds of Summer

Burkie's Drive-In, Muncie, Indiana

What are your favorite summer songs? Since I’m so old, mine tend to be oldies from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. But we have some younger folks here too–have there been any summer classics in the past couple of decades?

I grew up in a medium-sized town in Indiana. There wasn’t a whole lot to do there. When we wanted to get out, we often just drove around with a gang of kids. We’d drive around the drive-ins to see who was there. One of those drive-ins is pictured above. There was another one in town called John’s Awful Awful Drive-In (awful big and awful good!), but that one has been torn down and I couldn’t find a photo. We would drive around for hours, listening to music, laughing, and talking. It sounds boring, I know, but it was fun. This teen-age lifestyle was depicted in the great summer movie American Graffiti. You’ve probably seen it. America was car-crazy in those days, and rock ‘n’ roll ruled.

In the summer there were always upbeat, happy songs that went along with the sunny season. I’ll share a couple of my old favorites and hope you’ll share yours.

This one is a real oldie but goodie, Summertime Blues by Eddie Cochrane–a big hit in 1958.

Summer in the City, by the Lovin’ Spoonful

The Drifters, Up on the Roof

Of course the ultimate summer group of the ’60s was the Beach Boys. This one is from before they were the Beach Boys. They were so young!

Here’s another live video from before Brian Wilson got sick.

So….. what are your summer favorites?

63 Comments on “Open Thread: Sounds of Summer”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Just thought of a more recent summer song.

  2. Branjor says:

    Where was I in ’62? I was 9 and I thought teenagers were weird. You pretty much got all of my summer favorites I can think of right now. Will post if i can think of another.

  3. Beata says:

    In my childhood home in Indiana, Memorial Day was memorable for being the day when the city pool opened. So we would go to the pool and then have an evening cook-out in our backyard. The next day we would probably ride our bikes downtown to the Dog n Suds for a hot dog and a root beer. No cares at all.

    My favorite Beach Boys’ song has always been “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” :

  4. Seriously says:

    Oh wow, LOVE that picture! I saw on TV once someone had decorated an entire wall with pictures of amazing signs and Roadside Americana, it was fantastic.

  5. HT says:

    I love all the ones you’ve listed, although you missed Mungo Jerry. I’ve added one from 1980 from a band that few have probably every heard of – Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins. I think it appealed to me because of the reference to the job – as I was in a similar situation at the time. Anyway, I still enjoy it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I remember it. They used to play it on the alternative rock station I listened to in the ’80s.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Martha and the Vandellas!

  7. bostonboomer says:

  8. Delphyne says:

    Around the age of 14, I heard Salsa for the first time and loved it. Here’s one that reminds me of summer.

  9. Delphyne says:

    BB – I love Martha and the Vandellas!! This is one of my favorites – and perfect for a hot humid Jersey afternoon!

  10. Delphyne says:

    I played this album to death when it came out. She died too young.

  11. Delphyne says:

    Gosh, BB – you opened the flood gates to songs from back in the day!! I’ll try not to post everything that’s flying around head right now!!

  12. Beata says:

    Feelin’ groovy…

  13. Delphyne says:

    Soulful Santana always reminds me of summer.

  14. Beata says:

    And then there were the drive-in movies:

  15. bostonboomer says:

    Canned Heat

  16. Minkoff Minx says:

    Okay, this song reminds me of summer 1988. That was the year I graduated High School, and this was the song that everyone wanted to have as our graduating class song…Future so bright, gotta wear shades.

    But, it was not to be. Turns out Rosemary Milanes (the head of the Senior Class activities committee) used her position to put her own choice as our class song…So unfortunately our song was “Time of my life…”

  17. fiscalliberal says:

    Little older than most here, this was my favorite. Pink shirts, gray pants and buck white shoes. In a northern Wisconsin dairy farm community we had the Sat nite dance which songs like this which was my favoite

    Songs like this with polka’s and shottishes (sp?).Slow watzes at the end. It was fun.

    • Beata says:

      Everybody mambo!!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      • Delphyne says:

        Oh, gosh – I sure remember this song. My father was a real audiophile and he had tons of albums. I mean in the 1000s. I remember this song and riding in the car on the way to the Jersey Shore. And it’s true – cherry blossoms are pink and apple blossoms are white! And love that trumpet!

  18. fiscalliberal says:

    Girls wore can can’s in those days.

  19. Beata says:

    My fav Lovin’ Spoonful song:

    • HT says:

      Mine too. Unfortunately Zal died in 2002 – too young, but his restaurant and bakery are still going strong – best bread ever.

      I can’t explain it, but this song always makes me think of summer – perhaps because it’s audacious (and a little bit of history thrown into the intro)?

  20. Delphyne says:


  21. Delphyne says:

    And 40 years later, we still have these things. This is my ring tone on my cell – I love the song!

  22. Minkoff Minx says:

    I’ve got a new thread up…so check it out and then post your favorite War and Summer movies!

  23. Fannie says:

    Love Lolly:

  24. madaha says:

    how about this classic?

  25. madaha says: