When I was kid, I spent summers listening to music on my transistor radio. The Sixties transformed America with changes to our society, culture, and music. The 25 All-Time Greatest Summer Songs: The Ultimate Collection features plenty of great Summer songs. Probably the biggest hit on this CD is The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City.” I love Billy Stewart’s classic version of “Summertime.” I wish this collection included one of my favorite Summer songs, Robin Ward’s 1963 hit “Wonderful Summer.” A girl kissed me while that song was playing in 1963 so it’s imprinted on my brain. Do you have a favorite Summer Song? GRADE: A
1. Summer In The City – The Lovin’ Spoonful
2. A Summer Song – Chad & Jeremy
3. Summertime, Summertime – The Jamies
4. Vacation – Connie Francis
5. Wipe Out – The Surfaris
6. Summer Means Fun – Bruce And Terry
7. Dancing In The Street – Martha And The Vandellas
8. Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
9. In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry
10. Happy Summer Days – Ronnie Dove
11. Sealed With A Kiss – Brian Hyland
12. The Theme From A Summer Place – Percy Faith And His Orchestra
13. On The Beach (In The Summertime) – The 5th Dimension
14. Summer Wine – Nancy Sinatra And Lee Hazlewood
15. Summer Sand – Dawn
16. Here Comes The Summer – Jerry Keller
17. School Is Out – Gary U.S. Bonds
18. Palisades Park – Freddy Cannon
19. Lets Go Trippin’ – Dick Dale & His Del-Tones
20. Beach Party – Annette
21. Lost Summer Love – Shelley Fabares
22. Gonna Hustle You – Legendary Masked Surfers
23. Wombling Summer Party – The Wombles
24. Summer – War
25. Summertime – Billy Stewart


    1. george Post author

      Jerry, Billy Stewart’s “Summertime” sounds very different from the traditional PORGY AND BESS song, but I love it!

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Mt favorite summer song is Chuck Prophet’s Summertime Thing. . My favorite here would be the Kinks A Sunny Afternoon. A lot of junk here though. I could do without Percy Faith, Connie Francis, Brian Hyland, Annette, Shelley Fabares. . And some I have never heard of but don’t sound promising like The Legendary Masked Surfers and The Wombles. I would prefer Janis Joplin’s Summertime over Billy Stewarts. And no Beach Boys?

    1. george Post author

      Steve, these theme CD collections usually cast a wide net in order to attract as many demographic groups as possible. That’s why Annett and Shell Fabares are included. I’m sure rights to Beach Boys songs were prohibitively expensive.

      1. Steve Oerkfitz

        I would hate to think anyone would be buying this for Annett and Fabares. Rights problems would probably prohibited Hot Fun In the Summertime by Sly & the Family Stone.

      2. george Post author

        Steve, cost for songs would be a prime factor in assembling one of these CD collections. You’re probably right about “Hot Fun in the Summertime” by Sly and the Family Stone.

      3. george Post author

        Todd, I’m always surprised that musicians have so many legal problems. Prince died without a will and his estate is up in the air. The same situation resulted with James Brown. His once $100,000,000 estate is slowing being drained by all the lawyers and litigation.

  2. Deb

    I love, love, love Billy Stewart’s “Summertime” (that’s the one from Porgy & Bess, Jerry—but totally jazzed/brassed/scatted up). “Summer Wine” is also good—but when it comes to Nancy & Lee, I’ll take their version of “Jackson” over anything else they did (although that’s obviously not a summer song).

    1. george Post author

      Deb, the Corrs and Bono did a great version of “Summer Wine” on the Corrs’ LIVE IN DUBLIN album. I love Billy Stewart’s unique interpretation of “Summertime,” too!

  3. Deb

    Btw, I just noticed the photo of guy with the horse: that’s a romance novel cover if ever I’ve seen one!

    1. george Post author

      Deb, guys love to walk their horses around without their shirts on. I’m sure that photo sold a few more copies of this CD.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    Nice one! I’ve mentioned “Summer in the City” as a favorite before. I was working in the city that summer of 1966, and believe me, it was every bit as hot and unbearable as the song suggests! It always perfectly evokes that time and place for me.

    As far as romance goes, mine was 1962’s “Sealed With a Kiss” because I had my first girlfriend in camp that summer. (I won’t mention her name.) I remember dancing with her to that song (yes, I danced then!) on the lawn at the end of the summer.

    Besides the ones listed, I’d add:

    Summer Breeze – Seals & Crofts
    Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran
    The Boys of Summer – Don Henley
    Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & the Family Stone (can’t believe they missed that!)
    Under the Boardwalk (also Up on the Roof) – Drifters
    Heat Wave – Martha & the Vandellas
    School is Out – Gary U,S, Bonds
    Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & the Waves

    1. George Kelley

      Jeff, I love those preposition songs: “Up on the Roof” and “Under the Boardwalk.” As Todd says, it’s hard to beat “Heat Wave” as the iconic Summer Song. Katrina & The Waves made many millions of dollars on “Walking on Sunshine” which was used in a hundred TV commercials!

    1. george Post author

      Todd, “Summertime” is a classic. There are many versions that I like, but I keep returning to Billy Stewart’s unconventional interpretation.

  5. wolf

    Ah, those summer days (I was a student too in the 60s).
    I did record a lot of tapes (Yes, real tape, no cassettes yet then) and played them on my battery operated tape recorder which lay under the seat in my little Fiat 500 …
    I had bought that car from the money I earned working for two months in the summer in nearby the Mercedes factory before going to university
    Some of the songs listed I remember: Sealed With A Kiss, Under the Boardwalk and of course Summertime.
    Mungo Jerry also was “in” …

    Here’s how my car looked (though in black) – you could open the roof all the way, fantastic in summer.×705.jpg
    Though I had to be careful – got a sunburn on my nose once …

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, convertibles were big when I was a kid. But with pollution and crime concerns, convertibles declined in popularity in the following decades. They seem to be making a resurgence now because I’m seeing more of them on the road. I’ve never owned one and have no desire to drive one. I’m an A/C guy all the way!

      1. Rick Robinson

        I’ve had a few: 1964 XKE Roadster, 1962 Corvette, 1989 Mazda Miata (that was the first year for the Miata). Loved every one of them, and living in Southern California not far from the beach, there were lots of opportunities for top-down driving. I loved it a lot.

      2. george Post author

        Rick, a friend of mine used to drive a convertible. Then he got Melanoma from too much sun. He was on Interferon for a year to arrest the cancer. He’s alive today, but he never goes out with applying a healthy dose of sunscreen!

  6. Rick Robinson

    That’s a pretty good set of songs, though like others I’d drop a few. Plus, it’s not a Summer set without the Beach Boys. Plus, it needs the theme from Endless Summer.


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